McAfee Concert Hall, Baskin Center Earn National Recognition

The architect behind the renovation of Belmont’s McAfee Concert Hall, Earl Swensson Associates, Inc. (ESa), recently received a Citation of Excellence Award for outstanding educational facility design in the Spring 2013 edition of Learning By Design, the premier biannual guide that showcases innovative school and university design projects. Recognized for the renovation and adaptive reuse of McAfee Concert Hall, ESa is one of only seven firms in the country to receive a Citation of Excellence Award in the Spring 2013 design competition.

ESa repurposed the aging church sanctuary into a contemporary music hall that serves both the campus and the surrounding community. Unique details were preserved, while nearly doubling the volume by utilizing previously unused attic and floor space. “I imagine this is a great place to see a concert,” commented a Learning By Design judge.

In addition, Belmont’s Randall and Sadie Baskin Center, which was also designed by ESa, received an Honorable Mention Award. ESa is one of only three firms in the country to receive this award.

Learning By Design is published twice annually by Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc., with support from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), APPA—Leadership in Educational Facilities, Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), National School Boards Association (NCBA), and others.

ESa is a 52-year-old architectural firm based in Nashville providing services in architecture, interior architecture, master planning and space planning to clients across the country and globally.


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Ranked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the sixth consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of more than 6,900 students who come from every state and more than 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The University’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs, a fact made evident in the University’s hometown, Nashville, where students, faculty and staff served more than 243,000 hours of community service (valued at more than $5 million) during 2012. With more than 80 areas of undergraduate study, 22 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon.
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