Kutztown University – Rickenbach Learning Center – Auditorium Renovations

Erdman Anthony provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for the transformation of a black box theater into a 200-seat lecture hall and auditorium at Kutztown University in Kutztown, PA. The project, which resulted in renovated space now used for instruction and performances, was contracted under an open-ended agreement Erdman Anthony has with the university.

The design included complete interior demolition of the existing two-story theater and the creation of a tiered lecture hall and auditorium. 

The mechanical design included replacing the existing HVAC system with a new hot and chilled water single-zone variable-volume air-handling unit. Erdman Anthony also coordinated with Philadelphia-based Metropolitan Acoustics to ensure the acoustical requirements of the space were met. In addition, two gas-fired condensing “summer” boilers were installed to dehumidify the building during the summer, when the campus steam plant is shut down.

The electrical design included new power, lighting, fire alarm, and low-voltage systems. The lighting design entailed house, back-of-house, stage, and step lighting utilizing LED and fluorescent technologies. Also included was a programmable dimming system, with multiple zone controls at locations such as the stage, podium, and house, as well as energy-saving occupancy-sensing devices and emergency-egress lighting.

The proposed lighting fixture layout and selection were modeled, calculated, and rendered using AGi32 lighting calculation software to ensure appropriate lighting levels at all locations. This model was instrumental in finalizing the design, and the resulting renderings provided an accurate sense of space for the university.   

New panelboards, relocated feeders, and receptacles also were provided throughout, and the fire-alarm design that included new pull stations, notification devices, and smoke detectors was tied into the existing building’s fire-alarm system. Data, audio/visual, projection, and wireless sound-assisted listening systems completed the design.

The university was very pleased with the final product, and the renovated space is proving to be a valuable asset to both students and staff for all intended functions.

Project Details


Kutztown, PA


Kutztown University



Construction Cost

$1.0 Million

Project Contact

Doug Stouffer, PE, LEED AP®
  • Doug Stouffer, PE, LEED AP®
  • 717-766-1741 x 5023
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