FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2007
Performing Arts Center Wins Architectural Design Award
The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons has received a statewide award for its design. Architect Jim Spencer of NTD Architecture was awarded a 2007 Community College Facility Coalition Professional Design Award for his work on the center.
Spencer and his design team were presented the growth category Award of Merit for the 47,000-square-foot, $18.3 million PAC facility for its design concept, planning and construction processes, relationship between the facility and surrounding campus environment including pre-existing buildings and facilities, and its large community use and partnership potential.
Spencer, who served as the lead designer on the joint city of Santa Clarita- and College of the Canyons-funded Performing Arts Center (PAC) project from 1999 until its completion in 2004, was on hand to accept the prestigious award during the Community College Facility Coalition's 14th Annual Conference in Sacramento.
"To win this award is a real thrill," Spencer said. "It's my first CCFC award, and I consider it especially important because this facility was judged against community college projects from across the state. Theaters in general are especially difficult to design and even harder to get funded, so it's extremely meaningful for the PAC to have received this award.
"Both College of the Canyons and the city of Santa Clarita should take pride in receiving this honor," added Spencer.
Spencer worked closely with college staff during both the design and construction stages of the Performing Arts Center. Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook, who fought for many years to get the funding for the center, provided critical design input to both exterior and interior features of the building. Most importantly, she selected the final colors and materials for the public spaces: lobby carpeting, restroom tile and countertops, main hall walls and final stain selection of the acoustic louvers, making sure that the finishes accentuated the overall architectural statement and features of the building, bringing all the elements together for a stunning visual impact.
Also credited during Spencer's acceptance were Jim Schrage, COC dean of facilities; Brodie Steele, PAC technical director; Susan Hinshaw, chair of the COC theatre department; Bernardo Feldman, chair of the COC music department; Yuan Chen, Reuben Wooton and Mark Major of NTD Architecture, and Tim Phillips and the entire construction management team at Klassen Corp.
"The Performing Arts Center is a beautifully designed facility for College of the Canyons students and the larger Santa Clarita Valley community to use and enjoy," Schrage said. "With its unique design concept, impeccable construction quality and capacity to serve as a venue for both small and large scale theater and musical performances, academic presentations and a wide variety of community events, the PAC is and will continue to be one of the college's most significant community contributions for decades to come."
The Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC) is a statewide coalition composed of community college districts, facility planners, architects, developers, financial institutions, attorneys and consultants dedicated to advocacy for community college facilities issues and the provision of critical information and services associated with facility matters to community college districts and their business partners.
Founded in the spring of 1993, the CCFC boasts a 128-organization membership, including 52 of the state's 71 community college districts and approximately the same number of private sector companies.
Since 2004 the CCFC Professional Design Awards have recognized built and still under construction community college facilities with excellence, honor and merit awards in categories including growth, project-in-design phase, modernization, master planning and campus completion.
To be considered for an award, projects must be designed for a CCFC member community college and may include: campus academic and administration buildings, theaters, stadiums, bookstores, dormitories, parking facilities and other architectural projects related to a community college's facilities.
"The project design was intended to create a gateway statement for the college and reach out to the community as a kind of lantern or welcoming gesture which could be lit up at night," Spencer said. "That was the primary reasoning for the large circular glass-windowed lobby that faces outward toward Rockwell Canyon Road. The curve of the PAC lobby also compliments the opposite curve of the library, allowing the two buildings to work together visually."
The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center features a 7,500-square-foot proscenium stage with accompanying 886 to 926 seat theater depending on performance configurations, an experimental "black box" theater and seating area, a green room, scene shops, costume and prop storage, an orchestra pit, make-up and dressing room areas, lockers, showers, restrooms and both a ticket booth and lobby snack bar.
As the premiere performance destination of the Santa Clarita Valley, the Center serves as an integral part of the college's performing arts curriculum and community partnership plans as a facility designed for both campus and community use.