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February 9, 2010

Discussion continues on conference center

Members of the Woodward Conference Center Building Committee are still weighing their options for the center’s exterior design elements.

Discussion at Monday’s committee meeting centered around the center’s roof, exterior columns and a proposed outdoor patio.

The committee members were mostly in agreement about changes that had been made to the roof design, choosing a design that still incorporates a “dynamic” V shape as included on original concept drawings, but where the valley was moved so that it didn’t rest over the central hallway of the building. In addition, Architect Jim Hasenbeck had included some steel “grill work” where the roof “kicked back up” instead of a solid roofing material to make it even more dramatic.

While the committee members seemed to like using steel for the roof, several of them, LaVern Phillips in particular, took issue with using only steel for exterior columns.

Phillips thought the steel just stood out too much and previously asked Hasenbeck to provide a model showing the columns being bricked up, which the architect did at Monday’s meeting.

However, the brick work only went part way up the columns to line up with the height of the bricked north wing, leaving the steel exposed at the top to join up with the steel support structure of the roof. Hasenbeck said he felt that was more aesthetically and architecturally appealing than to have the brick continue all the way up.

Some of the committee members agreed with Hasenbeck, while others would like to see the columns entirely bricked up. The architect agreed to revise the model to reflect this option for the next meeting.

He also agreed to rework the design for a proposed tiered patio along the east side of the building. The design he showed Monday incorporated five tiers, but the committee members said they would like to see just two or three tiers, which could possibly help with ADA accessibility.

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