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Fact Sheet | New School of Music Complex at DePaul University

First Phase | November 2015-Spring 2018

Demolition of McGaw Hall and construction of a 185,000-square-foot music center that will include teaching studios, rehearsal space, concert hall, two recital halls and a jazz hall. Specifically:

  • The 505-seat William E. and Mary Pat Gannon Hay Concert Hall will be an elegant and acoustically optimal hall designed to accommodate the School of Music’s full range of musical ensembles.
  • A 140-seat large recital hall will be three stories high in order to deliver professional quality acoustics with a clear and polished sound.
  • An 81-seat small recital hall will incorporate many of the same acoustic and technical features of the larger hall and will be located on the opposite side of the building.
  • The 76-seat Philip Corboy and Mary Dempsey Jazz Hall will provide the perfect setting for audiences to experience the intimacy and ambience of a jazz club. 

Public spaces in the new School of Music center will include:

  • A commons area to serve as the front door, forming a gathering place for the School of Music community and social spaces for students.
  • An atrium café to serve as a gathering spot before concerts, during intermissions and after the performance.

Teaching spaces, designed around the technical needs of students and faculty, will include:

  • Choral rehearsal room.
  • Computer lab.
  • Instrumental rehearsal rooms.
  • Large chamber music room.
  • Large recital hall green room.
  • Percussion rehearsal room.
  • Sound recording technology suite. 

Height of new center:

  • 55 ft. to parapet at building edge
  • 74 ft. to top of penthouse
  • 65 ft. to top of barrel vault
  • 3 floors above ground, on top of underground 115-car parking garage

Phase I has a projected budget of $98.5 million.

Designed for LEED designation.

The intention to build a School of Music complex was first announced in 2009 as part of the university’s 10-year master plan.

DePaul’s board of trustees gave approval Oct. 30, 2015, to begin the first phase.

Construction Timetable | First Phase

Planned start date is Nov. 2, 2015.
Estimated completion date is April 2018.

Early November 2015-Mid-January 2016
Temporary utility plan work, during which there will be various service shut down, most of which will be scheduled for off hours.

November-December 2015
Two access ramps will be constructed for the existing School of Music at the southwest quadrant of the building. One ramp will go to the lower level entrance to facilitate access for disabled community members. The other ramp will lead to the concrete pad at the base of the existing semi-circular stair that goes up to the second floor level.

Nov. 27 through Mid-December 2015
All surface parking will be permanently removed.

Work will begin on revising the layout or placement to the interior street that connects Belden Avenue to the McCormick Row House District and DePaul. This is necessary due to the westward projection of the new building structure, which extends to the existing curb lane to the west of the center parking lot.

Pedestrian access will continue during this time, but no vehicles will be allowed access until after the work is complete.

December 2015
Temporary pedestrian access fencing and barricades will be put in place for continued access to the Concert Hall.

Mid-January 2016
McGaw Hall demolition to begin and last six-to-eight weeks. It will start with environmental remediation from existing utility plant elements, and then proceed to full demolition.

Late February/ March 2016
After the demolition of McGaw Hall is complete, the foundation and excavation work will begin. This includes the drilling of the more than 60 caissons required for the structure. The deep drilling is due to the one level of parking that will be below the new building.

Location of School of Music Complex

The new center will be constructed along the west side of North Halsted Street between Fullerton and Belden avenues. It will be just east of the historic McCormick Row House District.

Construction Noise and Work Hours

There will be a significant amount of noise during demolition, excavation and foundation work.

  • Construction work hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The loud and noisy work will not start before 8 a.m.
  • There will be attempts to not work on weekends unless time needs to be recovered due to bad weather or other unforeseen issues.
  • Once the project begins to elevate from the ground there will be less noise.
  • There will be safety precautions taken to keep dust and dirt in check during demolition. This will be done by watering during demolition and constantly cleaning the site and surrounding areas.


Antunovich Associates, Inc. |

  • DePaul University projects include:
  • DePaul Art Museum
  • DePaul Center
  • DePaul Residential Village
  • Arts & Letters Hall
  • Richardson Library


Bulley & Andrews |

DePaul University projects include:

  • DePaul Art Museum
  • Arts & Letters Hall
  • McGowan Science Building

Next Phase | Timetable Not Yet Set

Renovation of two existing buildings:

Music North — formerly the Music School building — will continue to serve as the School of Music’s administrative hub, housing renovated offices, classrooms, and teaching studios on its existing three levels.

Music South — formerly the Concert Hall — will be substantially refitted to accommodate the Sasha and Eugene Jarvis Opera Hall. The renovation project will retain the existing exterior of the Concert Hall and preserve the chapel that is beloved by Lincoln Park residents for its New England architecture and it landmark soaring white steeple.

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Media Contact:
Jon Cecero
(312) 362-7640