Theatre Design Firm, Schuler Shook, Provides Planning, Technical Services for Texas’ 220K-SF ‘Buddy Holly Hall’

LUBBOCK, Texas – A state-of-the-art venue, the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, has opened in Lubbock, Texas. Totaling 220,000 square feet, the hall – the first of its size and type in the region – was planned and designed by internationally recognized theatre design firm, Schuler Shook, architectural firms Diamond Schmitt Architects, Parkhill, and MWM Architects, along with acoustician Jaffe Holden.

Located in the heart of Downtown Lubbock, Buddy Holly Hall offers unique arts and entertainment experiences to a growing city, and a home for both top-tier and emerging artists. It is the largest performing arts center within 100 miles of Lubbock.

The dynamic venue features two notable theatres, an expandable lobby and a multipurpose, divisible event room, all of which can be programmed simultaneously. The newly opened venue has partnered with community users and includes a 22,000-square-foot dance center, home to Ballet Lubbock, and the 2,000-square-foot Rave On restaurant, now open to the public.

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn.

Lubbock, a multi-county economic, educational and health-care hub, is located at the southern end of the High Plains region. It is home to public research institution, Texas Tech University.

“This is a significant facility for Lubbock and the entire region, and I can personally attest that it’s been a local dream for decades,” said Schuler Shook Partner, Jack Hagler, a Texas Tech University alumnus. “Located in a city with four universities and colleges, it made sense to have this space offer plenty of ‘flexible’ space to accommodate the classical arts as well as popular music and performance. We worked hand-in-hand with the architects to make this a venue that will attract users from across the state and country.”

The project team developed the 2,297-seat Helen DeVitt Jones Theatre, with a removable 600-fixed-seat orchestra section that converts to flat-floor general admission standing for 900, lifts and rigging systems, and more. In addition, Buddy Holly Hall’s smaller, more intimate space, the 415-person Crickets Theater (named for the late musician’s band), features standing room areas, a stage for community use, an acoustic curtain, ceiling and wall system, performance lighting, and an automated rigging system, among other features designed by Schuler Shook.

Additional facility highlights include a 6,000-square-foot, subdividable multipurpose room, the 22,000-square-foot Ballet Lubbock Pre-Professional Academy, the restaurant, a 2,500-square-foot commercial kitchen, and the Christine DeVitt Lobby featuring a unique spiral staircase, as well as ample backstage areas.

The project was developed by Garfield Public/Private LLC and is owned by the Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association (LEPAA).

“Schuler Shook’s work alongside this impressive project team allowed us to realize our vision of creating a highly desirable arts center for the city and our entire region of West Texas,” said Tim Collins, board chairman of LEPAA. “Our venue no doubt stimulates our local economy and brings a decades’ old concept to fruition. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the community.”

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn.

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn.

Schuler Shook conducted a series of feasibility studies, along with Webb Management Services, to identify performance venues appropriate for the desired programming. The firm’s consensus was that the hall demanded a footprint that could accommodate popular acts (country, rock, pop, comedy, etc.), as well as Broadway productions, resident tenant Ballet Lubbock, and Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.

In addition, Schuler Shook was responsible for integrating the hall’s numerous technical systems – which includes an orchestra area that can convert from tiered fixed seating to flat floor.

“In everything from feasibility studies and facility conceptual design, to design mockups and custom equipment designs, our team was closely involved in the creation of this remarkable project for Lubbock,” said Schuler Shook Partner, Kimberly Corbett Oates. “There is no other venue like this in the area, and, coupled with the nearby visual arts district, its current setup allows for daytime and evening engagement – bringing it ‘closer’ to the community.”

Buddy Holly Hall is hosting live performance events at reduced capacity, including Steve Trevino’s “I Speak Wife Tour,” held Jan. 30, 2021, Lubbock Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of “Peter and the Wolf” (Feb. 27, 2021), and other live performances.

Demolition of the site’s former use (DPS Building) began in December 2014. LEPAA officially broke ground on April 20, 2017, with general contractor Lee Lewis Construction. Construction was completed in January 2021.

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