INDIANAPOLIS — Butler University announced its remodeling plans for the exterior of Clowes Memorial Hall after receiving a $1 million grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation.
According to Butler, the redesign is part of its larger plan to modernize the venue for safety and security reasons. The remodeling plans consist of a new entryway and a newly-paved plaza with the addition of concrete bollards.
Clowes' new entryway is being reworked for better functionality and more security. The executive director of the Butler Arts and Events Center, Aaron Hurt, stated in a release to WRTV that the point of the redesign will provide a smoother flow of traffic in and out of the building and while inside.
“I think the biggest complaints we have heard from visitors when they have come here in the past is how long it takes to get into the building, or that intermissions have been a pain to try to move through the lobby to get to the restrooms. Accessibility has also been a bit of an issue for some, and this redesign takes all of those concerns into consideration,” Hurt said.
The entryway's new design will remove the current wall between the box office and lobby. According to Butler's release, this will increase the size of the lobby by 12 feet. In effect, allowing for an increase in metal detectors from four to 10, which more than doubles the speed of entering and exiting the building for major events.
The new plaza will be paved with a small, outdoor stage for shows, events, and concerts. The plaza will also include concrete bollards — short posts that typically serve as seating — that surround the stage as a protective perimeter.
Clowes was originally built in 1963 and serves as a prominent central Indiana venue for the arts and entertainment industry.
“Clowes Memorial Hall has a lot of significance in the Indianapolis community historically as a hub for arts and culture,” Hurt stated. “We are constantly asking ourselves, ‘How do we make sure this flagship venue continues to be relevant for the community? How do we take it to the next level in terms of the value we can bring to our city?’ This project is an example of Butler’s commitment to being a place for everyone.”