Valdosta State University Powell Hall Renovation, Valdosta, GA

Originally built in 1940 as the campus library and funded through Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, Powell Hall now serves VSU’s Department of Music for faculty, staff, and students.

The renovated building houses individual practice rooms, rehearsal rooms for medium chamber ensembles and jazz ensembles, music education room, music library, ample instrument storage, offices, conference room, student gathering spaces, and formal lobby.

In addition to these spaces, the centerpiece of the facility is a new recital hall for up to 200 people. This space was originally the library’s reading room but was adapted in 1978 to serve as a tiered lecture hall before finding its current use. Design modifications to the space included bolstered exterior windows to mitigate exterior sound transmission from nearby air-cooled chillers and road traffic and a sound-isolating rear glass wall with door to allow visual, but not aural, connectivity between the recital hall and the formal lobby.

Additionally, the interior room acoustics feature judiciously chosen reflective and absorptive ceiling surfaces to achieve a baseline reverberant characteristic, suspended clear diffusive panels to promote projection and ensemble, and dynamic side and rear wall panels that mitigate flutter echo while allowing the room to be tuned for either more live or more dead conditions to suit the specific music program and ensemble size.

The project has received rave reviews from users and patrons alike due, in part, to the acoustics and has been awarded a 2022 Excellence in Rehabilitation Award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation during the 45th annual Preservation Awards in Augusta.

Owner: Georgia Board of Regents
Construction Type: Renovation
Construction Cost: $3.2 million
Finished Area: 26,600 gsf
Architects: Dunwody/Beeland Architects and Flynn Finderup Architects
Contractor: SC Barker Construction Company
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineer: NBP Engineers, Inc.