Archive for Thursday, February 5, 1998


February 5, 1998


`BOX: Architects vying for arts center job


The Mayor's Arts Center Advisory Committee plans to interview four design teams interested in handling architectural work for the renovation and expansion of the Lawrence Arts Center.

The hour-long interviews Feb. 18 will be conducted at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts, and are open to the public. Here's the schedule:

8:30 a.m.: Glenn Livingood Penzler Architects, 1001 N.H.

9:30 a.m.: Hernly Architects, 920 Mass., with partners Moore/Anderson Architects Inc., of Austin, Tex., and Susan Richards Johnson Associates Inc., of Kansas City, Mo.

10:30 a.m.: Sabatini & Associates Architects Inc., 7 E. Seventh, with partners Shaughnessy Fickel & Scott Architects Inc., of Kansas City, Mo.

11:30 a.m.: Michael Treanor Architects, 110 McDonald Dr., whose team includes seven firms to address various project components.

Architects vying for arts center job

Four design teams are still in the running for the Lawrence Arts Center renovation and expansion project.

Four teams of architects are finalists for designing an estimated $5.8 million renovation and expansion of the Lawrence Arts Center.

Four out of seven applicants made the cut and will be interviewed Feb. 18 by members of the Mayor's Arts Center Advisory Committee. The committee is expected to forward a recommendation to Lawrence city commissioners sometime in March.

Lead architects still in the running are Glenn Livingood Penzler Architects, 1001 N.H.; Hernly Architects, 920 Mass.; Sabatini & Associates Architects Inc., 7 E. Seventh; and Michael Treanor Architects, 110 McDonald Dr.

No matter who gets the job, City Manager Mike Wildgen said, the project should end up in good hands.

"I think all four are very capable firms and have the potential to meet the high standards the city will expect," Wildgen said. "They're all capable of doing it."

The four teams are vying for one of the largest and most visible public design jobs in town, a job that could bring in architectural fees anywhere from $300,000 to $700,000. The arts center is located in the city's former Carnegie Library at 200 W. Ninth, a landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In December, after nearly 10 years of planning, arts center officials finally landed a commitment from the city for an expansion. Officials want to do a $5.8 million project, which would add about 20,000 square feet of space to the 10,000-square-foot Carnegie building.

Current plans call for a center with a 400-seat performance hall, two dance studios, two galleries and several classrooms, studios and offices. City taxpayers will pick up $3.625 million of the project cost, while the arts center expects to collect more than $2 million in donations.

Wildgen said the mayor's advisory committee would rate the architects on several fronts, including their experience with historic preservation; technical abilities, such as theater design; abilities of the team as a whole, from structural engineering to heating and air conditioning systems; track record with projects, particularly related to the city; and plans for involving the public in the design process.

Nobody said it would be easy.

"We've had a lot of people who are interested in the project," Wildgen said. "It's downtown. It's high profile. There are a lot of parties involved that have strong opinions about how it should be done."

The four architectural teams aren't yet saying how they would design the center, and instead are relying on their experience, previous projects and references as justification for landing the job.

The hour-long interviews are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 18 at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts, and are open to the public.

Three teams were not recommended for interviews, as determined by a team of city staffers: Gould Evans Associates, 706 Mass., which had been hired previously by the city to do design work on the center; Smalter & Associates Architects Inc., 833 1/2 Mass., which is handling designs for the city's new Prairie Park Nature Center; and Rockhill & Associates, Lecompton, known recently for building a concrete house off West 15th Street.

-- Mark Fagan's phone message number is 832-7188. His e-mail address is

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