Auditorium rendering courtesy of RTKLProgram Management Projects:
City of Richardson:
Galatyn Park Urban Center Auditorium
Richardson, Texas

In 1996, the City of Richardson decided to pursue plans for a Community Auditorium that would serve the needs of both public and private users. This plan was not new to the City, for they had studied the feasibility of such a center in two past studies. In 1988, Theatre Projects Consultants was commissioned to perform a market analysis and an arts needs assessment to determine the potential of an arts center in Richardson, as well as to develop a design and operating plan based on their findings.

In 1996, HOK was retained to update the needs of Richardson's arts groups, and to analyze the former Richardson Heights Baptist Church as a potential venue for the arts. HOK recommended that the City look at other facility options available to them, including the joint use of a facility with the University of Texas at Dallas, a renovation of an existing venue (i.e. Richardson High School Auditorium, RIchardson Civic Center), an adaptive re-use of an existing facility (i.e. Richardson Heights Baptist Church), and the design and construction of a new facility.

In late 1996, Program Management together with the architectural firm PGAL was chosen to analyze those options available to the City. The team's tasks included: researching and identifying a viable building program for a community arts center, identifying the location and operational options available, and clarifying each of the options as alternate scenarios, each with different development, operation, and income patterns over time.

In approaching the Richardson Auditorium assignment, the team first reviewed the TPC and HOK studies. Though the previous studies focused on the arts groups' needs in an arts center, the PM/PGAL team recognized the need to identify and define the private users' requirements as well. To complement the previous studies, the PM/PGAL team reviewed the space programs and operating patterns of 40+ arts facilities throughout the country, toured many of the performance/conference facilities within the region, and discussed the operations of these facilities with local managers.

The team developed the four alternate cases for a Richardson performing arts facility:

Case 1: A Free Standing facility located on an open undeveloped site, either public or private.

Case 2: An Adaptive Reuse of an acquired structure which could house some or all necessary support functions for the center; allowing for only the performance hall to be planned as a new construction project.

Case 3: A facility jointly used through an Institutional Partnership with a college or a high school.

Case 4: A facility located centrally as an integral part of a Private Partnership development venture.

Program Management analyzed each of these four scenarios to evaluate the potential impact of each design case. This scenario design process involved developing construction and operating proformas and use and income patterns of the Auditorium in each of the four cases. The economic analysis of the Auditorium construction revealed that, while there were some benefits associated with each of the four scenarios, the Case 1: Free Standing and Case 2: Adaptive Reuse both carried a significant initial cost premium relative to the other two scenarios.

Two alternatives operating patterns emerged as the operating proformas of centers around the country were reviewed: a passive approach in which the Auditorium acts as a "roadhouse" and is rented out on a first come - first serve basis; or a more active approach in which the operations management acts as the "artistic director" and aggressively markets the center to outside performers. These operating budgets vary considerably due to the Auditorium's sponsorship (universities, foundations), management (non-profit, city departments), and marketing approach. PM recognized through its research that the City's first steps were to define the mission of the facility, identify the "Client", and select an interim managing director to help address the sponsorship, management, and marketing issues.

The use and income patterns of the Auditorium varied dramatically in each of the four scenarios, based on the participation of institutional partners, non-profit groups, and corporate users of the facility. It became clear that the center could attract more promoted events if the facility was not built in conjunction with an institutional partner. The institutional partner would command a greater percentage of facility usage, which would not be profitable to the City. The stand alone and private partnership cases allowed for maximum income to be captured due to the greater accommodation of corporate users.

Hunt Petroleum was considering a mixed use development on land owned within the Telecom Corridor, and chose a 27-acre site just north of Nortel's Richardson campus. This location was an ideal site for the City's Auditorium for several reasons: 1)Hunt Petroleum agreed to donate land for the Auditorium on this site, 2) the City had the opportunity to capture greater potential revenue from the use of this facility from nearby corporations, and 3) the high visibility of the Auditorium within a public-private mixed use development and its adjacency to a public outdoor plaza would attract and encourage more use of the facility throughout the year.

In 1997, the Galatyn Park Urban Center public-private development was announced. This unique partnership includes the City of Richardson, Hunt Petroleum Corporation, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and John Q. Hammons Hotels. RTKL was chosen as the architect for the Auditorium, public Plaza, and parking garage. The Auditorium broke ground in early 2000 and opened in September 2002.

City of Richardson:   Galatyn Park Plaza Study

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