At school meeting on Tuesday, January 16, Head of School Alex D. Curtis announced the official naming of the new auditorium being built adjacent to Paul Mellon Arts Center. Named in honor of Trustee George F. Colony '72 for his lead gift, and made possible through the generosity of many other lead gifts, the new 50,000-square-foot Colony Hall will be the ideal location to bring the entire school community together. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Colony Hall is the realization of a longtime goal of the School's Strategic Plan – to allocate appropriate resources so that the entire school community can gather to share, celebrate, and reflect.
With ample seating for faculty, staff, and students, the auditorium will serve not only as the venue for weekly all-school meetings, but as a performance hall that can accommodate both large and small audiences. The space will provide an acoustical setting suitable for the spoken word or amplified music, as well as a more reverberant sound for symphonic music. The west side of the auditorium will include a music classroom wing with a Recital Hall seating up to 100 people, providing rehearsal space for Choate's major music ensembles. Surrounding the Recital Hall will be additional practice rooms, faculty offices, a percussion studio and a Green Room for performers. The backstage area will contain musical instrument lockers and storage for music.
Open stairs in the lobby will lead both to the auditorium's balcony and to a new dance studio, with changing rooms and an office for the dance program. At the top of the building, a third level entrance will lead from the top rows of the balcony to a woodland path along the hillside. Said Dr. Curtis, "As a school we are committed to ensuring our facilities foster a cohesive, vibrant campus community. Those moments when we can be in the same room at the same time are the ones we treasure most. Colony Hall will be the place where the entire school can gather to share, celebrate, and reflect."
Colony Hall is scheduled to open in 2019.