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Westminster's Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory Honored with Merit Award

May 18. 2005

Salt Lake City - Westminster College's Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory of Theater and Music was honored at the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International's Southwest Regional Conference with a Merit Award.

The Merit Award recognizes the conservatory's outstanding learner-centered architecture and design as one of the best in the southwest region. Among the critical factors in selecting an award winner are the innovations in planning, programming, and design of the building--and how these elements meld to create an environment that is conducive to learning. Another factor they considered is how Westminster's goals were either met or exceeded by the design.

Patrick McLaughlin, AIA, Senior Associate and Project Manager for the Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory said, "We feel honored to receive a CEFPI Southwest award for the design of the Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory for Music and Theater. MHTN Architects strove to provide Westminster College with a quality designed facility which accommodates their present requirements while preparing for their future needs. We used great care to ensure the facility was equipped with state-of-the-art technology and proper acoustics for each venue. We feel this award reflects the excellent planning and design that MHTN provided to meet and exceed the needs of Westminster College."

  • The 34,000-square-foot conservatory includes a 285-seat concert hall, a 150-seat black box theater, a music library, a rehearsal hall/recording studio, a music technology laboratory, seven practice rooms, three new classrooms, and a shop for building theater sets and storage for costumes.
  • Westminster College has always had a strong performing arts program and this new conservatory will triple the college's performance space. The campus will have more music, more theater, and there will be so much expansive wall space in the new addition that the conservatory will also serve as a place for wonderful art exhibits.
  • The new Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory at Westminster College is more than halfway completed and on its way to becoming one of the premier facilities of its kind in Utah. The new $7 million conservatory represents a major addition to the existing Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, which was built in 1991. Planners expect the facility to be completed in June 2004 and open in the fall.
  • Every seat will be an excellent place to enjoy the performance: The ceilings will have folded plates designed so the sound waves will not bounce and reverberate through the halls. The tiles are designed to guide the sounds to reach every member of the audience. There will be no places in the concert hall or theater where the sound of the performance is deadened.
  • The recording studio is central to the conservatory's mission. Every performance space is electronically linked into the recording studio, which will allow every performance to be recorded with a professional quality. "This will be the nerve center of the recording industry at Westminster College," Westminster Dean of Arts and Sciences Mary Jane Chase said. "Musicians will be able to create music here in a variety of ways. There will be more opportunities for students, more opportunities to involve the community."

Westminster College is the only private, comprehensive liberal arts college in Utah and one of the very few in the Intermountain West. The college is small, nondenominational and focused intensively on student learning. It prepares its students for success through a strong foundation of liberal education combined with cutting-edge professional programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Westminster in the top tier of regional colleges and universities in the West, and as an excellent educational value. For more information visit