College Planning & Management

MAR 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Facility Focus PHOTOS © PATRICK COULIE AUDI TORIUMS AND PERFORMING ARTS New Mexico Military Institute Pearson Auditorium H AVING COMPLETED three previous projects at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in Roswell, Van H. Gilbert Architect, PC (VHGA) was familiar with both the campus and the culture of the institution. The design team understood that Pearson Auditorium, built in 1937, held a special place in the history of the school, the nation's only state-supported military junior college and high school. The challenge was to maintain the historic nature of the auditorium while incorporating the latest technology and modern amenities. Among the deficits to be addressed: heating system and water pipe leaks, spaces not accessible per ADA standards, and any 75 building codes enacted after 1937. Audience seating and theatrical lighting had been added over the years, but the systems were woefully inadequate. Further, any changes to the 25,000-sq.-ft. building needed to comply with New Mexico State Historic Guidelines. To maintain and enhance the design details of this historic building, the design team reused, refurbished, and recreated exterior detailing to seamlessly integrate building upgrades of windows, doors, and decorative elements into the building profi le. The interior design recreates a sense of the time and place informed by ornate castiron seat frames, original light fi xtures, and the military design. Historic building details mask modern-day infrastructure COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / MARCH 2013 additions to keep present-day technology from intruding into the performance experience. Flooring, fabrics, and lighting selections meet today's standards for energy efficiency and recycled content, yet evoke the building's original era. VHGA worked with theatre systems consultant Bill Connor to outfit the theatre with new lighting and theatre control systems, and with acoustic consultant Stan Roller to reshape the walls and ceiling and introduce strategically placed, acoustically absorbent sound panels. Transformed, historic Pearson Hall is now a multifunctional, modern performance venue enjoyed by both NMMI and the City of Roswell. WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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