First phase of performing arts center to be completed in September

In the spring of 2010, Milton and Tamar Maltz, of the Maltz Family Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, announced a $12 million contribution to create the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center. The new center will be located at what used to be The Temple-Tifereth Israel, which was constructed in 1924 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The congregation at the Temple relocated to their second location in Beachwood.

The additional contribution of $18 million from the Maltz Foundation and additional supporters brought the total amount to $59.3 million out of the projected cost of $64 million, and Case Western Reserve University promised to fundraise the rest of the construction on the 145,000-square-foot complex, which began in the spring of 2014.

The renovation and construction process has two phases. The first phase focuses on the concert, recital hall and the rehearsal area and will be completed for September 2015. This will largely focus on improving the acoustics and the layout of the existing Shell Hall to be a state of the art music hall, while still maintaining the grandeur of the original architecture and design.

The second phase will focus on the theaters, classrooms, rehearsal areas, and dancing and acting studios and is expected to be complete by 2016. The exterior of the building will receive a “face-lift” to restore and preserve the original architecture of the historic building.

Once completed, the center will have a concert and lecture hall, 350-seat proscenium theater, black box theater, recital hall, dance and acting studios for classes and rehearsals, costuming and scenery shops, resource center, media lab and various other classroom and academic spaces. While it will primarily serve as a performance hall and educational facility, the Maltz Center will continue to function as a place of worship for Jewish High Holy Days and special events.

“The Arts Departments, Music, Theater and Dance need space,” said David Ake, the Department of Music chair. “[The Temple] just made sense.”

However, some have voiced concerns at the location of the Maltz Center. Google Maps records it as a 0.8-mile walk from Thwing, which is roughly a 10-15 minute walk. The walk is also lacking in sidewalks and requires going up a steep incline. Because of this, CWRU is planning to provide Greenies to transport students to the center.

Once the building is complete, the performance groups, such as the orchestra and singing groups that meet in Wade, will likely begin to meet at the Maltz Center.

“CWRU saw it as an opportunity to take advantage of an incredible building that is already here and provide the arts with the space that they needed,” said Ake.

There are rumors and speculation that CWRU may be planning to spread out into the area around the Maltz Center, but as of right now they are unconfirmed.