Plans under way for auditoriumConstruction at Worthington facility slated to begin in May WORTHINGTON — Brick color and geothermal heating were some of the discussion topics at a meeting of Memorial Auditorium’s Renovation Committee Thursday.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Brick color and geothermal heating were some of the discussion topics at a meeting of Memorial Auditorium’s Renovation Committee Thursday.
With any luck, the renovations and the 4,400-square-foot addition will be completed by this time next year. But for now, committee members are working with project architects Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. to finalize plans for the layout and façade of the addition.
The number of water closets in the restrooms had previously been increased from six for both the men’s and women’s bathrooms to seven in the men’s and eight in the women’s. A family restroom was also added. On Thursday, a door was added on the side of the addition facing Seventh Avenue.
Members discussed the brick color of the new building, and some expressed concern that the color and design of the addition would stick out next to the original auditorium.
“I don’t want it to look like two buildings. There needs to be some consistency between the buildings,” said committee member Diane Graber in reference to the windows of the addition, which are not the same as those currently in the auditorium.
The vertical columns and glass and steel design of the addition will match the Art Deco-era façade of the auditorium, but matching the brick color exactly is not possible.
“We cannot replicate the brick,” explained Steve Robinson, a professional engineer at SEH. “That green tint (seen in most of the bricks on the current building) comes from the coal-firing process used in brick making that they don’t do anymore. There is going to be a distinctive look to the bricks.”
The brick color will be similar, however; and the brick supplier will give committee members a choice of several brick palettes from which to choose.
The design of the addition will also incorporate art deco pieces salvaged from the former Central Elementary school.
The group will also tackle the issue of parking lots and may need to consider a separate, secured area to accommodate performers.
“You get a big group of 25 dancers and they don’t want anyone near their bus,” said Margaret Hurlbut-Vosburgh, the auditorium manager.
Beyond the lots, landscaping should be simple, Robinson said.
“All we were planning on was appropriate sidewalks and grass. There’s a row of existing trees that we will try to save,” he said. Members may consider adding a bench or small square in front of the addition.
Members are also considering replacing the current heating system with a geo-thermal heat system and are waiting to find out if the option is affordable.
Bids will be solicited for construction work in early March, and construction is set to run from mid-May through the end of December. The auditorium will not be able to host performances during that time, but Hurlbut-Vosburgh said she’s looking forward to the project’s completion.
“It’s exciting to think about opening up more space here; it opens up opportunities for people to use the building,” she said.