News on UCCS' future performing arts complex


Ellie Caulkins Opera House - SEMPLEBROWNDESIGN.COM
  • Ellie Caulkins Opera House
It's still many years away, but today, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs announced that Denver's Semple Brown Design has been selected as the "Architect of Record" for its Visual and Performing Arts Center, which will span 76,000 square feet and cost $56 million.

One of several major buildings to make up what will be UCCS' North Campus, the complex will hold a 750-seat main theater, a 250-seat recital hall, a 250-seat Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater (which is home to TheatreWorks), a 100-seat Osborne Theater and the Galleries of Contemporary Art.

As of today, UCCS' VAPA program spans nearly the entire campus, with classrooms and studios dotting it from Columbine Hall to Centennial Hall to University Hall, and even farther north counting the Heller Center. (Back when I was a student studying art history, that meant a lot of walking.) While a centralized location will be a boon for students and faculty, the new facility will also provide "direct public access to performances, exhibits and classes." (Let's hope that means fewer parking headaches, too.)

Semple Brown specializes in performing arts buildings, and has designed the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and the restoration of Larimer Square as well as restaurants such as The Squeaky Bean, Euclid Hall and Steuben's. The firm prides itself on its network of consultants who have expertise in theater planning, acoustics, sustainability and lighting design.

Renderings are slated to be unveiled this summer.

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