After years of planning, months of construction, and roughly $4.2 million, the newly renovated Ann and Steve Morgan Auditorium, formerly Founders Auditorium, is complete.
The University of La Verne community had been anticipating this renovation for years.
“I’m so excited, the students are going to love it,” said Carol Stephenson, adjunct professor of music.
The revamp of the auditorium, which originally opened its doors in 1927, began last May and construction was completed last month.
“It’s great to see a smile on everyone’s face. They’re going to enjoy it, especially seeing all the new controls to lighting,” said Jim Steet, superintendent of KAR Construction, the firm responsible for the renovation.
Steet said the biggest challenge of renovating the auditorium was reconstructing an older building and working with hidden surprises behind aged walls which needed fixing.
KAR Construction is also the firm responsible for building the Campus Center.
Other changes to the auditorium included adding fresh paint, new glass and chandeliers.
The project, which stayed slightly under budget, has been praised for fulfilling its vision.
“It’s amazing how the auditorium looks like the drawing; it’s a place of such quality,” Kathleen Lamkin, professor of music, said.
“It’s not only going to look good; the acoustics were crucial to this renovation which will enhance the overall quality of the auditorium,” Lamkin said.
The acoustic additions throughout the auditorium will improve the sound of future performances.
Renovations also included a new state-of-the-art control room, structural enhancements, new stage and auditorium lighting.
On Feb. 3 some faculty and staff participated in a training in how to use the new sound and recording equipment.
“We want it to be usable, functional and beautiful,” said Chip West, senior director of central services and capital planning.
A concert and dedication are planned for April 2.
At 1 p.m. Cornel West will be the first of several prominent speakers to use the auditorium before the dedication.
“I am proud of this project,” West said.
Many agreed that the former Founders Auditorium needed updating.
“It’s a historical gem,” Lamkin said.
Jennahway Huerta can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.