Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts

  • Client

    • New Albany
  • Project Type

Design Achievement - Responding to a need for a multi-use community venue and a new high school auditorium, a number of institutions rallied together to provide the New Albany Learning Community campus with an arts center. The new facility serves as an inspirational environment to explore the arts, a place of engagement for the community, and as a performance venue for the Columbus Symphony. DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky’s design reinforces the existing topography while commanding a strong architectural presence. Situated on a 4.5-acre site on the edge of a 200-acre academic campus, this impressive building establishes visible prominence from all directions. The design of the building is carefully scaled and articulated to strengthen and preserve the traditional aesthetic of the campus. Conceived as a "village of forms," the design features three distinct elements. The octagonal, traditional red brick theater and stage house relates to existing buildings and civic structures; the educational wing and rehearsal hall composed of white clapboard and wood relates to the neighboring school; and the elliptical glass lobby, providing natural light and expansive views, links the distinct programming spaces and serves as a beacon and "living room" for the community.

Scope Summary – This new 36,000-SF performing arts center was made possible through a unique public/private collaboration between the New Albany Community Foundation; The New Albany Company, a real estate development company; New Albany-Plain Local School District; and the township and village of New Albany. The west-facing, formal entrance, terrace, and portico shaded by several existing mature trees, lead to an entry vestibule, box office, and concessions. The center comprises several performance/event spaces, each with its own acoustic environment. A flexible event lobby and gallery furnishes the center with much needed multi-use space for gatherings, performances, art exhibits, and special events. The main 786-seat proscenium theater features a horseshoe-shaped seating configuration, curvilinear balcony, forestage reflector and orchestra shell towers integrated into the proscenium, and acoustic banners. This space accommodates varying acoustic environments for music, dance, and theater. The audience chamber's dense terra cotta clay block perimeter walls provide structural support and natural acoustics, while unifying the interior and exterior through the deep red color and texture. The building also includes a partial fly loft; a 100-seat, black box rehearsal studio; dance studio; scene shop; a second, student-accessible entrance; and classrooms. DLR Group|WRL provided architecture, MEP  and structural  engineering, interiors, and theater technical services.

DLR Group acquired Westlake Reed Leskosky in September 2016. Today, the combined design expertise and resources of Westlake Reed Leskosky and DLR Group serve clients as a global, integrated design firm committed to elevating the human experience through design.

Awards & Recognition

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  • Peggy Ezekiel Award of Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Consulting

    United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT)
  • Award for Craftsmanship

    Columbus Builder's Exchange

Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts

New Albany