Auburn University names performing arts center architects

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Auburn University has selected tvsdesign of Atlanta and Wilson Butler Architects of Boston as the architectural team to lead the design of the new performing arts center.

The Auburn University Board of Trustees on Friday approved tvsdesign as the local design team that will work with Wilson Butler. Wilson Butler contended with three other national firms for the opportunity to design the center as part of a four-day design charrette that took place March 30-April 2 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

Wilson Butler is nationally known for its work designing performing arts centers, historic theaters, academic art facilities and high-tech entertainment venues, according to University Architect Jim Carroll.

"Wilson Butler was selected based upon their strong understanding of the processes, development of strong solutions, support of our constituents and their connection with the community in a substantive way during the charrette," Carroll said. "Their final presentation was strong and their work product gave our university team a strong indication that we will be able to achieve the tough schedule and come away with a very successful and transformative complex in March 2019."

The final recommendation was made by a selection committee which included faculty, staff and administrative representatives from across the university, including the colleges of Liberal Arts and Engineering, and University Development, the Media Center, Office of Real Estate and the Executive Vice President, and Facilities Management.

"During the charrette, we had the pleasure of getting to know a broad cross section of the Auburn community," said Scott Butler, director at Wilson Butler. "We are thrilled to be designing a new cultural facility for such an engaged and enthusiastic client group. It is commonly said that 'good clients make for good projects and great clients make for great projects.' It seems to us that in Auburn, we are destined for an exceptional project."

The performing arts center project design process will begin mid-April with a final programming phase that will verify specific spaces and finalize financial evaluations.

"Our next steps are all about advance planning for the very aggressive schedule that will open the performing arts center in spring of 2019," Butler said. "This can only be accomplished by an experienced team that, in addition to architects, includes a full cast of supporting consultants; creating a comprehensive work plan that will engage both the university and community stakeholders; and carefully aligning the building program spaces with the budget, while ensuring the highest quality outcome for the appearance and performance of the facilities. This meticulously crafted roadmap is absolutely essential for us to collectively achieve an on-time, on-budget opening of a world-class Auburn University performing arts center."
Last year, the university received a $25 million gift from 1957 graduates John and Rosemary Brown to help construct the performing arts center. The university is seeking an additional $15 million to ensure the completion of the project.

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.