Student Services & Visual/Performing Arts Complex, Bay College
Straub Pettitt Yaste Architects
850 North Crooks Road, #200, Clawson, MI 48017
Date Bid: Sep 2007
Construction Period: Oct 2007 to Sep 2008
Total Square Feet: 28,450 Site: 60 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: First floor, 28,450 (9,850 renovation);
total, 28,450 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 14’; theatre fly loft, 46’; total,
Basic Construction Type: Addition/Renovation. Foundation:
Cast-in-place, reinforced, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: CMU,
brick. Roof: Built up. Floors: Concrete. Interior
Walls: Metal stud drywall, CMU.
Structural Engineer: Robert Darvas Associates - 440 South Main
Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
General Contractor: Gundlach Champion, Inc. - 600 E. Lakeshore
Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
Mechanical Engineer: Potapa-VanHoosear Engineering, Inc. - 47810
Van Dyke Avenue, Shelby Township, MI 48317
Electrical Engineer: Berbiglia Associates, Inc. - 36400 West
Twelve Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331
John and Melissa Besse of Gladstone, Michigan donated $4,700,000 to Bay
de Noc Community College to construct a Visual and Performing Arts
Complex at the Escanaba campus. The improvement of facilities for the
visual and performing arts was a part of the college's master plan for a
number of years.
The new Besse Center consists of renovations to existing spaces and new
construction. The existing lecture hall was gutted including the roof,
entirely renovated, doubled in size, and new spaces were added to
include stage, stage wings, workshop for set design, dressing rooms,
green room, control booth, music practice rooms, and art gallery.
Student Services Facilities were completely renovated to create a more
up-to-date image and functionality for new students and visitors.
The new 287 seat theatre includes a fly loft with 20 pipe battens, 2
lighting catwalks, an orchestra pit, and a complete wireless microphone
sound system. Dark oak convex sound diffusing panels, light blue
acoustic absorbing panels, red upholstered seats, red curtains, and red
custom designed patterned carpet add a sense of warmth to the theatre
The unique characteristic of this project is that the theatre lobby is
also the Campus Art Gallery. This space also serves as the main
circulation path to the Cafeteria and the Student Services so that
students and visitors are constantly surrounded by and aware of the art
on display. The interior walls are painted white to not distract from
the art displays. Abundant natural light and adjustable track lighting
allows for unlimited art arrangements.
The exterior entry to this space is capped with a clear glass and white
steel webbed cylinder that serves as a welcoming beacon not only for the
theatre and art gallery but for the entire campus.
An adjacent smaller round brick element houses the addition's mechanical
and electrical equipment and serves as a knuckle between dark gray metal
panels of the new building and the brick of the Student Services Center.
North of the new theatre lobby and art gallery is the newly renovated
student services area. This one-stop location for all the student
services is redesigned to be an open and welcoming space. All office
spaces have glass partitions that front onto a large work area, which
houses the support staff, receptionist welcome desk and self-help