Seabrook Auditorium is a focal point of the Fayetteville State University campus, adjacent to Murchison Road on a green space fronting the main entrance drive to the campus. In order to better serve its rapidly expanding student body as well as the campus performing arts programs, FSU selected Clark Nexsen to renovate Seabrook with the ambitious goal of making Seabrook the premier, multi-purpose regional performing arts center for southeastern North Carolina. The facility supports music, drama, dance, lectures, student activities, and university events.
The auditorium takes advantage of the existing (but now unused) historic entrance gate to the campus, using this unique feature as the public entrance into the auditorium. This gate leads to a front porch that extends the lobby space to the exterior allowing room for spill-over crowds. The porch also provides an informal stage for public concerts on the campus lawn to the front of the hall. A front addition behind this porch provides new lobby space, a ticketing office, and toilet facilities, while a rear addition houses a new stage and theatrical fly along with the backstage support containing modest dressing and toilet facilities, a backstage crossover, and open backstage space for construction, storage, and loading.
The auditorium interior was completely reconfigured to provide a more intimate seating arrangement, better accessibility, and box seating. The active music program of the university made acoustics a priority. To this end, the existing plaster ceiling was removed to increase the volume of the acoustical envelope and the box seating, overhead reflectors, reshaped wall surfaces, and adjustable draperies contribute to enhance the clarity of sound. In addition to new finishes the work also included the installation of new rigging systems, theatrical lighting, fire protection, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and audio systems throughout.
2007 AIA North Carolina Honor Award