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ASU Auditorium Stage Rigging to be Replaced

February 08, 2012

With a scheduled replacement of the theatre rigging this summer, the University Auditorium is set to be back in full operation by the time classes open in the fall at Angelo State University.

The project will replace the entire rigging system, including all lines/ropes, pulleys, hoists, counterweights, catwalks, curtains and other components necessary for a fully functional proscenium stage.  The total project cost is projected at $450,000, which is being funded through an allocation of the university’s Higher Education Assistance Funds (HEAF). 

ASU President Joseph C. Rallo said the project was made possible by a consolidation of university HEAF monies in response to the 17 percent budget reduction the university faced during the current biennium.  Previously, the HEAF funds were allocated by division and college on campus. 

“By consolidating the funds,” Rallo said, “we are able to address broader university needs, such as the University Auditorium’s obsolete rigging system.  This project will return an important campus venue to full operation and use by next fall.” 

Once the work is completed, the auditorium will resume its normal role in university life as a venue for musical theatre, drama productions, recitals, award ceremonies and other activities. 

John Russell, ASU’s director of facilities planning and construction, said his office is reviewing proposals for the work and expects to have a firm under contract by the first week of March.  It will take another two months after that for submittals to be prepared and reviewed.  Once the submittals are reviewed and approved, work is expected to begin at the end of the spring semester with a completion date projected for Aug. 15. 

Russell said the construction project deals exclusively with replacement of the theatre rigging system and does not address the seating or any cosmetic work in front of the stage. 

Due to the outdated rigging system and safety concerns, the University Auditorium was taken offline in 2010, except for ceremonies which could be conducted in front of the curtains. 

The University Auditorium was completed in 1947 when the institution moved from downtown to the current location.  The bulk of the existing rigging system was part of the original construction of the facility, though portions were updated in 1974.