Green River Community College, Bleha Center for the Performing Arts

Auburn, Washington

The Green River Community College campus is nestled amidst 186 acres of forested land to the east of Auburn, Wash. A significant goal was to create a campus focal point and a multifaceted outdoor venue for events, performances, and individual and general gathering space adjacent to a new performing-arts center.

Situated at the center of campus, Kennelly Commons ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONFEATURED IN2005 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYLandscape as a casual gathering place. It opens the central part of the campus into one larger, more usable area. The resulting traffic pattern provides a dynamic interaction of students and faculty, fulfilling the original vision for this outdoor space. Local stone artisan Seattle Solstice created a water sculpture by local artist Ted Jonsson to act as the entry to the commons.

One of the major elements of the commons is the performing-arts center, which provides facilities for the drama and music departments. A large, multipurpose space is designed for permanent choral functions as the theater’s green room and is reconfigurable as an intimate black-box-type theater, as well as a full-stage set. An outdoor amphitheater, with seating for 250, was built next to the performing-arts center.