Krannert Center installing major accessibility upgrades

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Although shows and performances have been put on hold at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, crews are still working hard on upgrades in the Foellinger Great Hall and the Tryon Festival Theatre.

“Krannert Center holds a long-standing commitment to improving accessibility around the arts,” says a press release from the Center. “Part of that pledge is lived by continuing to seek ways in which the facility itself can be more navigable for everyone in our community. Though the building is currently closed to the public due to the pandemic, there’s been exciting work happening within. “

In the Tryon Festival Theatre, workers increased the width of the lower-foyer side entrances and replaced the carpet in the lower foyer with a shorter material to allow for easier wheelchair use. They also removed the “score” seats across the back of the main floor, and leveled out flooring and steps in that same area, creating four additional wheelchair-accessible spots.

The carpet was replaced in the lower and upper foyers of the Foellinger Great Hall. A new opening and a ramp were built along the northwest wall of the lower foyer to allow people using wheelchairs to navigate from the building’s north elevator to this lower foyer.

The Great Hall’s score seats will also be removed, which will allow for 15 wheelchair-accessible and no-step spots across the back of the main floor. In the balcony, select flooring and steps will be leveled to allow for more few-step and no-step seats and six wheelchair-accessible spots.

The lower foyer restrooms will be upgraded to fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. 

“The Colwell Playhouse, which presents some of the greatest challenges to accessibility, is currently in the design proposal stage, and the Center hopes to go forward with additional renovations to that space by the summer of 2021.”

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