design thinkers blog
integrating design and construction
[hero image]

Kent School, Music Department & Mattison Auditorium


the story

This was a unique design solution that required the integration of design and construction early in the process. The project presented many challenges including space limitation, level changes, structural modifications and acoustics. The integrated team was able to


Construction Management
Design Build
Interior Design
Pre-Construction Services
Programming & Planning
Structural Engineering
Kent, CT
Completed February 2014
25,000 sf

Kent School needed to update and expand their Music and Arts program spaces within existing and buildings that weren’t connected physically. An affordable alternative to building new was the renovation of an existing theater and the utilization of an older dorm located on an upper floor of an adjacent building. The challenge was to renovate these spaces to meet programmatic needs and to connect them in such a way as to be cohesive.

The complexity of converting a 1930’s double-loaded corridor dormitory into an acoustic music and practice space posed many challenges.

This project presented many construction and sequencing challenges. SLAM took on the task of managing an extremely invasive project for a facility that needed to provide uninterrupted service to the school. With SLAM’s unique delivery approach, our design-build team anticipated these challenges and incorporated design solutions, where applicable, into the bid documents. SLAM developed a phasing and sequencing plan that would address project constraints. It was most important to detail the sequencing within the bid documents to allow contractors a full understanding of the project expectations.


As an integrated team, SLAM designed and sequenced the construction utilizing existing buildings within an occupied campus. The design solution produced a new gallery space and lobby that serves as an interior link between the Dining Hall Building that houses the Music Rooms and the Auditorium Building.

SLAM’s in-house estimating team worked closely with our designers since they were a short walk within our building. In SLAM’s approach, we embedded our estimator with the designers to allow a continuous flow of information to pass between them as systems were being considered and designed.


The SLAM team designed and renovated the existing auditorium and support spaces, including upgrades to stage area, the house, and the lobby, resulting in an award-winning multi-functional space for 350-people used for music, theater, lectures, and movies. The design also features a large lobby and gallery sized to accommodate receptions and beautiful new music practice rooms within the trussed second floor roof line.

Project Contacts

related projects