Florida Memorial College
Lou Rawls Center for the Performing Arts
Client:Florida Memorial College
Project Category:Renovation and Restoration
Architect:R.J. Heisenbottle
Completion Year:2004
Location:Miami, Florida
Capacity:450 seats
Florida Memorial College dedicated its renovated and refurbished performing arts center to singer Lou Rawls, 69, who, in the past few years, has forged a strong relationship with the college.

The Center contains a 450-seat theater, with state-of-the-art lighting, rigging, and sound systems. Construction included renovation of the existing auditorium and major additions to the facility, including a new full-height stagehouse. Seating was completely reconfigured to meet ADA accessibility requirements, as well as to assure excellent sightlines. And finally, a new dressing room and an intimate outdoor performance area were added.  

"There's not a bad seat in the house," said Gary Parker, director of facilities management and plant operations for the college. "For a campus our size, it's a gem."  

The multipurpose center was financed with grants from the Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Council, the State Cultural Arts Department, individual donors and the Bush Foundation, a private foundation based in St. Paul, Minn. that supports  historically black colleges.