McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture was recently recognized with the 2015 Adaptive Reuse Citation Award from the American Institute of Architect’s South Carolina Chapter for their work on Spartanburg Community College’s Evans Academic Center.
Originally the home of Spartanburg High School during the 1930s, the iconic Evans Building in Spartanburg’s Central Business District most recently served as office space for several county government non-profit organizations. In 2012, Spartanburg Community College chose the 104,000 square-foot building for its new Downtown Campus and hired McMillan Pazdan Smith to address the historic building’s restoration.
The restoration process involved carefully updating the building’s life safety, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and structural systems to meet modern building codes, while maintaining as much of the building’s original character as possible. The interior floor plan was thoughtfully reconfigured to meet modern educational best practices without disturbing iconic historic spaces like the gymnasium, auditorium and entrances.
During the course of the renovation many materials, finishes, architectural elements and features were recreated, repaired or restored. Because the building was a high school from 1922 until 1978, the school’s yearbooks provided numerous photos allowing the design team to replicate original features, including windows and doors, auditorium and gymnasium seating, light fixtures, and decorative plaster.
Exterior brick and terra cotta accents were restored around the building’s perimeter. Any broken or missing pieces in the granite and terra cotta monumental stair leading up to the main entrance were replicated and seamlessly installed into the original design. The original light fixtures at the Kennedy Street entrance were also refinished.
Not only did the team fully update the facility to meet modern codes, they carefully followed the US Green Building Council’s LEED standards for sustainable design throughout the process, earning the building a LEED Silver certification.
The 2015 Citation Award is the 16th award McMillan Pazdan Smith has received from the American Institute of Architects this decade.