University of Delaware Center for the Arts

McLaren Engineering Group provided foundation and structural engineering services for the University of Delaware’s 90,000-square-foot Roselle Center for the Arts in Newark. The $48 million arts center houses performance spaces and art programs, including a 450-seat proscenium theater, 300-seat orchestra rehearsal hall, 200-seat recital hall, 150-seat studio theatre, lobby and 32 practice rooms.

The McLaren Difference: Applied Ingenuity

Acoustics were a vital part of the project, given the various spaces and functions of the building. McLaren designed 12-inch thick concrete and solid masonry walls, with 3-foot thick mat foundations. Performance spaces are constructed as independent structures separated from adjacent spaces. Some framing is supported on neoprene pads to satisfy acoustic and architectural design requirements. The firm coordinated with the architect, mechanical engineer, acoustics consultant and theater consultant to integrate the structural layout with requirements for the program, mechanical design and acoustics. The result was a dazzling performing arts and educational facility that remains the focal point for the university’s arts community.

As an integral part of project coordination, McLaren performed a comparative analysis of alternative framing schemes. McLaren evaluated architectural details for structural compatibility and developed the structural design for sloped concrete seating, hanging gridiron, performance hall balconies and catwalks.

To bring the project to completion, McLaren performed an assessment of construction materials and sequencing, and provided construction phase services to assist in quality control and conformance with design documents.