Getting Close!

Much is yet to be done, but the Center is getting close. As the hand-turned, wooden balusters are put in place, the last coats of paint applied, the final wiring and lighting is installed, the project is moving toward completion. We expect that the contractors will hand over their certificate of occupancy in March and then staff will get busy furnishing the offices, the café, and attending to the final details.

Here are a few interesting details about the building.

The building design blends a bow to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London with a nod to Greensboro’s rural character. The faux roof mimics the thatched roof of the Globe and the vertical cedar siding on the rest of the building is intended to be more in keeping with Greensboro’s rural landscape.

The intimate performance space will seat 250 people, and everyone will have unobstructed views of the stage. The stage itself, is an echo of the older theater, and can be adjusted depending upon the needs of the performance. It can shrink to a small platform that allows seating in front and on the side for a chamber music quartet or it can be expanded to accommodate a dance or theatrical performance.

As the contractors hammer, saw, sand, and weld away, it is hard to believe that one will ever hear the clear sweet notes of a violin. Eager to get at least a taste of what music might sound like, we enlisted a local young man who is a concert violinist to play some music on the stage. Although all of the acoustic features ⎯ curtains, speakers, and even a full theater of people ⎯ will make a difference, we all stood transfixed as the music floated through the theater and were thrilled to know that HCA audiences will have a rewarding listening experience.

Perhaps less artistic than the acoustics that will carry the sound of a lovely violin, but no less important, is the Center’s renewable energy system that will heat and cool the building with
a-state-of–the-art geothermal system. Using the heat energy generated and stored in the Earth, the system will use ground-source heat pumps that bring pre-warmed heat into the building in the winter and take warm air out of the building in the summer. The building also has a backup conventional boiler, but the geothermal system will meet most of the needs in the winter and all of the needs in the summer.

As we put on the finishing touches in the building, we are working to create a wonderful first season and looking forward to making HCA a vibrant community gathering place filled with art, music, theater, film, educational activities, and other events.