Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts
Cedar City, Utah     
Best Project, Cultural Worship; Award of Merit, Excellence in Safety

Key Players
Lead Design Firm: Blalock & Partners
General Contractor: Big-D Construction
Structural Engineer: Reaveley Engineers + Associates Inc.
MEP Engineer: Van Boerum & Frank Associates
Electrical Engineer: BNA Consulting

Subcontractors: Marshall & Evans Electric Inc.; Schmidt Construction; Sheet Metal Specialties Inc.; Skyline Roofing Inc.; Steel Encounters Inc.; Superior Tile & Marble Inc.; Timber Works Inc.; U.S. Mechanical LLC; Fortress Home Improvements LLC; Golder Acoustics Inc.; Guaranteed Waterproofing & Construction; Knockout Roofing Inc.; Kozco Mechanical Inc.; M.S. Concrete


Located on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts encompasses nearly 5.5 acres of site development and two new buildings—the Southern Utah Museum of Art and the Utah Shakespeare Festival facility. The entire complex was built around the existing Randall L. Jones Theatre and marks one of the largest projects in the history of the university.

Covering 18,000 sq ft, the single-story art museum houses flexible gallery space, classrooms, administrative offices and storage areas for artwork. The state-of-the-art, nationally accredited museum can host major traveling art shows, bringing national and international exhibits to the region. 

In addition to the flexible gallery, the museum incorporates an educational component that teaches SUU students how to direct and manage an art museum as part of their curriculum. The museum also hosts weekly elementary school art-in-education programs.

The open-air, 900-seat Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre is the new home of the Tony-award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival. The facility also includes the 200-seat Anes Studio Theatre, a rehearsal hall, dressing rooms, costume shop and theater production spaces, plus administrative offices and related support areas. The enclosed studio theater allows the Utah Shakespeare Festival to stage performances during the winter and provides a venue for less traditional plays.

Working under a tight deadline and value-engineering $2.3 million in scope, the contractor worked concurrently on the two buildings. The most significant design challenge was tying them into the existing Randall L. Jones Theatre while allowing each building to have its own identity. Skillful site development became the common thread that connects the structures. The team strategically placed pathways, walks, planting, lighting and site furnishings to unify the complex.

The safety program included meticulous pretask planning by every crew on the site for every unique activity, every day. Each worker attended a site-specific orientation to discuss safety processes and risks. Despite a significant amount of work high off the ground and extensive trenching throughout the site, the project team reported zero OSHA-recordable incidents and no lost-time accidents.

Big-D Construction says, “Safety is a big deal. It is the very foundation we build on.”

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