The Davenport Central High School addition includes a new 892-seat multipurpose auditorium and an 8-lane, 300 seat pool. The auditorium is designed to be used for drama performances, a wide range of music and choir ensembles, musicals, lectures and presentations. As such, the acoustic design needed to be flexible to allow for ideal acoustical conditions for the varied uses. The stage design features a movable orchestra shell with side towers and retractable ceiling reflectors. The reflectors send sound down into the audience while also allowing the sound to be captured in the upper reaches of the room as reverberation.

To ensure the acoustics are easily adaptable to various performances, the auditorium includes an extensive system of motorized adjustable acoustic curtains that can change the acoustical characteristics of the room for the wide range of uses expected from the school. A fly tower with full theatrical rigging capabilities is included in the design enabling extensive set use. Additional lighting is concealed within stepped side walls at either side of the stage.

One of the challenges with this project was the location of the mechanical equipment rooms directly beneath the auditorium seating. In this location, the vibrations and sound from the various systems would dramatically interfere with clean acoustics in the auditorium. To provide sound isolation between the two spaces, a concrete slab was placed beneath the seating in addition to the placement of a concrete lid over the mechanical rooms. Neither slab has any structural ties and therefore acts as a barrier which sufficiently isolates each space.

The auditorium addition also includes a Lobby, Stage, Manager Control Room, Orchestra Pit, Dressing Rooms, Green Room, Scene Shop, Loading Dock and Costume Shop. Kirkegaard provided consulting services for room acoustics, sound isolation and noise and vibration control.

Project Details
Mechanical Noise Control
Room Acoustics Design
Sound Isolation
Larrison & Associates, Davenport, IA, Architect
PAT Design, Iowa City, IA, Theatre Consultant
62,400 gsf
842-seat auditorium, 300-seat 8-lane pool
$28.3 Million