High-performance acoustics, digital lighting and sound systems, and reconfigured audience seating are among enhancements underway as JE Dunn Construction renovates and restores historic Ford Auditorium on the campus of Berry College in Rome, Georgia.
The renovation—funded by gifts from more than 400 alumni and friends—will enhance the experiences of artists and audience members alike, delivering benefits from improved sightlines to impressive multimedia capabilities, while preserving and restoring historic elements of the facility, which dates to the late 1920s.
The auditorium will be completed in time for start of spring semester January 2020.
Ford Auditorium is Berry's signature venue for music performance. It also provides rehearsal and classroom spaces for the college's music program. It is part of a group of campus buildings known as the Ford Complex, named after Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, who along with his wife, Clara, were generous supporters in the earliest days of the school. These impressive English Gothic structures were featured on a recent USA Today list of 51 amazing university and college buildings.
Improvements to the iconic auditorium will also include repairing the building's leaded stained glass cathedral windows, enlarging the stage and upgrading curtain systems, new seating, reestablishing the plaster arches, refurbishing the lobby and restrooms, revamping MEP systems, and installing a new oak, tongue and groove radiused ceiling.
The project's architect of record is Cevian Design Lab. Kirkegaard Associates of Chicago is providing acoustics consulting.