First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts

Audience at the First State Bank Center for Performing Arts

We would like to continue to thank First State Bank for sponsoring the Performing Arts at North Central Texas College.

An Opportunity to Learn in a State-of-the-Art Facility

The unique monolithic dome-based design of the new First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts at North Central Texas College, makes it a distinctive landmark structure for both the Gainesville Campus and the local community. But it's what goes on inside the building that is generating the most excitement among college faculty and staff, both current and prospective students and local musicians, singers, actors and patrons of the arts.

Take a look Inside & Out

"Finally, with quality facilities for the teaching of both the performing and visual arts in place, our campus can truly become the cultural center of the community," said Dr. Eddie Hadlock, NCTC interim president. "And we believe that is a very appropriate and important role for a public community college to play-in addition to providing a wide range of affordable and easily accessible educational and workforce training opportunities."

Dr. Eddie Hadlock said the new Center for the Performing Arts Center is filling a long standing void in the college's overall academic curriculum.

"Fine arts programs like music and drama - as well as visual arts programs like painting and sculpture - are vitally important to any college-level curriculum," Dr. Hadlock said. "They're important for obvious academic reasons, but they are also enormously important in that they add so much to the overall collegiate environment for all students, regardless of their major."

"Finally, with quality facilities for the teaching of both the performing and visual arts in place, our campus can truly become the cultural center of the community," - Dr. Eddie Hadlock, NCTC interim president

Monolithic Dome Design Makes Building Unique

The FSB Center for the Performing Arts may be the first monolithic dome in the entire country designed and built specifically for this purpose. Fort Worth's Casa Manana, for example, is a "geodesic" dome and a much different type of building, containing not only a performance space but also classrooms, labs, rehearsal and practice rooms, scene shop and other features.

"While monolithic domes are certainly nothing new," said Dr. Steve Broyles, NCTC dean of administrative services, "we don't know of any others that were expressly designed from the ground up to house a performing arts center or theater - on a college campus or anywhere else."

The project architect was Rick Crandall of Crandall Design Group, the Mesa, AZ, firm which did the preliminary designs for the project and which specializes in the design of monolithic domes. Crandall, whose personal residence is a monolithic dome, said these unique types of structures are not only less expensive to construct than more conventional building types but also stronger, more durable and considerably more energy efficient.

See the Construction

"Those are big reasons why the popularity of monolithic domes is growing so rapidly," he said. "More and more, public and private school buildings, churches, office buildings, homes, sports arenas and gymnasiums, even manufacturing plants are being built as monolithic domes. They're amazingly flexible and adaptable to so many different kinds of uses."

The process used to erect monolithic domes, said Dr. Broyles, is as interesting and unique as the structures themselves. After site preparation, the first step is the laying of a perimeter foundation "ring" of reinforced concrete.Vertical steel bars embedded in the ring beam footing are later attached to the steel reinforcing of the dome itself.

Next, an "airform" or flexible membrane, fabricated to a proper shape and size, is attached to the concrete base. Using fans, this membrane is inflated-creating the shape of the dome. Then, approximately three inches of polyurethane foam insulation is applied to the interior surface.

Steel reinforcing bars, specially engineered and arranged in a precise criss-cross pattern, are attached to the foam using special "hooks" embedded in the foam. The final step is the spraying of several inches of a special mix of concrete onto the interior surface of the polyurethane foam, embedding the rebar.

"The resulting steel-reinforced concrete dome structure can literally withstand a tornado," said architect Crandall. "The inside of the dome is so strong structurally that you could probably hang an18-wheeler from the ceiling."

Crandall said he has designed many domes, but he is particularly excited about this one. "I feel sure the folks at NCTC are going to be hosting quite a few visitors from all over the country wanting to see how ideal this type of building is for a performing arts facility," he said.