Alumni and former university band members, Jim and Joyce Faulkner dreamed of giving back to the music department of the University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus. They subsequently offered to fund the renovation of the historic Field House to become the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center.
After being used for a variety of programs and years of minimal maintenance, the exterior shell of the building was carefully restored to its original 1930’s appearance, while a state-of-the-art performing arts center was inserted inside. A critical component of the building, the original steel casement windows were repaired and restored, and the brick and limestone masonry were cleaned and re-pointed. Long absent, original wood entry doors were replicated after close study of historical photographs, and the missing original flagpoles were replaced.
Inside, a large portion of the ground floor was removed to receive the new concert hall, provide adequate spatial volume, and accommodate seating for up to 600. Instrument and stage storage areas are provided at both stage level and below, accessed by a platform lift to allow for ease in moving large items (percussion, choral risers, etc.). Performer accommodations are located on the basement level. The hall itself features walls of fumed Larch and Venetian plaster panels to provide richness while hidden acoustical curtains allow for tuning the room. Theater, acoustic, lighting, and AVIT consultants were included on the team, as well as a partner architect who specializes in performing arts centers.
This project is anticipated to receive LEED Gold certification.