URBANA — Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, built in 1969, is in the middle of an accessibility-focused overhaul — rearranging seating, adding ramps and re-carpeting its theaters and lobbies to ease navigation for visitors with disabilities.
By the end of this summer, both of Krannert’s elevators will be upgraded for maximum mobility as well. The project was budgeted for $892,708.
“We are basically replacing all the mechanical equipment in the elevator machine rooms — that includes the pumps, the motors, the control panels,” said Trent Beane, a project manager with capital programs.
“And we’re adding push panels inside and outside the elevators to accommodate guests in wheelchairs and folks with mobility needs.”
Last year, one of Krannert’s two elevators received these fixes. It’ll remain usable while the second elevator is updated — with an expected completion date in early August, Beane said.
Next up for upgrades: The Colwell Playhouse. It’s still in the design phase, but Krannert expects to add an elevator that will reach the theater from the main lobby, and to clear space for wheelchair users to access the Playhouse’s center view.
“It’s a challenging, but worthy scope of work — improving accessibility while maintaining the integrity of (architect) Max Abramowitz’s original design,” Beane said.