Kansas University's "Wescoe Beach" would extend in front of a reconstructed Hoch Auditorium under plans being reviewed by a KU committee, a committee member said Wednesday.
Sally Frost-Mason, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and co-chair of the Hoch reconstruction committee, said Hoch would look "a whole lot different" from the way it looked before it was gutted by fire in June 1991.
She said the committee has been reviewing plans that outline two 500-seat lecture halls, a 1,000-seat lecture hall, four 50-seat classrooms, and library and storage space in the building.
Planners also are looking at a design with large hallways and entryways that would allow thousands of students to move in and out of the building, she said.
The reconstruction committee, comprising administrators, faculty and a student, has been meeting regularly since the beginning of the semester. The meetings are not open to the public.
Frost-Mason said Wednesday during a monthly meeting of the department chairs of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that architects for the project are in the process of hiring an acoustics expert for Hoch.
She said the 1,000-seat classroom is being designed with access to a balcony from within the room.
"So a professor could walk up to the balcony from within without having to leave the class," she said.
She also said plans call for Wescoe Beach to be extended west to the front of Hoch.
Wescoe Beach is the concrete area in front of Wescoe Hall. It serves as a gathering place for students between classes.
Frost-Mason said the new Hoch, according to plans, would not have its distinctive red roof.
The new Hoch will be connected to the Anschutz Science Library.
Frost-Mason said the plan would allow access into Hoch's proposed library space only through the science library.
Some faculty expressed concern that they would not be able to enter the science library from Jayhawk Boulevard.
But Frost-Mason said that would be difficult without establishing a library circulation desk between Anschutz and Hoch.
Allen Wiechert, KU director of facilities planning, said Wednesday the building is "in the planning stages," but would not elaborate.
The KU planning committee is meeting with architects at PKG Design Group of Lawrence, which is working with other firms in designing the new Hoch.