Storrs, CT

University of Connecticut, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts


The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts opened in 1955 and offers a variety of musical, dance, and theater productions to the University of Connecticut (UConn) and surrounding community. The auditorium provides flexible space to accommodate diverse programming. SGH provided structural engineering services for the proposed modifications to the above-stage and above-house rigging.

Over the course of several years, SGH assisted UConn by evaluating the existing roof structure to support new rigging for the auditorium.

Since the structure was modified over the years, SGH conducted a field investigation to document the condition and configuration of the existing roof structure. We used this information to analyze the structural components and provide UConn with an estimate of the reserve capacity for carrying rigging loads. As part of our evaluation, SGH also oversaw the work of an electrical subconsultant, who evaluated the ability of the existing electrical system to accommodate the new rigging.

SGH collaborated with the electrical subconsultant to prepare construction documents for rigging upgrades. The project included removing and replacing several rigging lines comprising winches and multi-cable systems that raise and lower pipe battens. These battens hold scenery, lights, speakers, or other elements related to each stage production. In one case, a special traveling hoist raises and lowers a grand piano from the orchestra pit to the stage. For this project, SGH designed structural modifications, including strengthening existing components and installing supplemental framing to support the new rigging. We provided construction administration services to review submittals, answer contractor requests for information, observe the work to compare with the design intent, and assist the contractor with modifications to accommodate unforeseen field conditions.

Project Summary



Completion Date
Repair & Rehabilitation
Culture & Entertainment | Education
University of Connecticut
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Temporary Construction

Key team members

Michael Brainerd
Michael Brainerd
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