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Conservatory of Music, Baldwin-Wallace College

Historic Preservation

Conservatory of Music

Baldwin-Wallace College


This project began as a study of an existing historic church building and its suitability for conversion to an academic use. After evaluation WMF recommended the College purchase the building, which they did. WMF then completed a programming process for the Conservatory of Music to determine where to position their programmatic needs within the purchased building plus two other existing campus buildings, and plan for a new 16,000 SF facility that links all three structures.

WMF was selected as the project architect and the design was completed. However, the College experienced difficulty raising the needed funds that would allow the project to move forward. A developer who specializes in historic tax credit projects for non-profits approached WMF. WMF facilitated a series of meetings with the College that resulted in the opportunity to use federal and state historic tax credits to fill the project budget gap. An historic preservation consultant was added to the project team and is now a member of WMF as a result of the project’s success.

Historic tax credits brought an additional $4.8 million in cash to the project, which lessened the fund raising burden on the College and allowed the project to move forward sooner than originally anticipated. The developer was also successful in securing a $500,000 federal energy grant for the installation of a geo- thermal HVAC system. All construction will be completed August, 2011.

Relevance: This project represents a thorough assessment of existing historic structures and how they can be modernized without jeopardizing their historic significance or the ability to use historic tax credits. It further illustrates our expertise in assembling an effective tax credit project team for a non-profit entity, as well as our abilities to assess program needs; make appropriate space allocations; prepare design options, comprehensive budgets and schedules for extensive historic rehabilitation and renovation projects. Our construction management team prepared all the project budgets and comprehensive program scheduling.

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