ULV Super Tents Renovation Celebration Marks First Stage of Campus Center Project
April 6, 2005 by University of La Verne
For nearly 32 years, the Super Tents structure has been a familiar part of the University of La Verne's main campus. Its eye-catching design, described as “futuristic” when first completed in 1973, remains strikingly distinctive in the 21st century. But while the look and appeal remain vital, the need to better utilize available space within the Super Tents led to a decision to revise the interior design.
To commemorate the initial phase of the Super Tents reconstruction, which is the first stage of the $20 million Campus Center Project, the university will host a special Renovation Celebration on Tuesday, April 12. Set to begin at 4 p.m. adjacent to the Super Tents near the corner of C and Second streets, the program will bring together ULV administrators, Board of Trustees members, project architects, donors, alumni and members of the campus community. The event is free and open to the public.
The Super Tents, the first permanent tensioned membrane structure in the world, is more than just a local landmark. Supported by cables and a series of tent pole-like frames, the canopy of woven Fiberglas fabric coated with Teflon resin, was designed to endure the harshest natural challenges. It was constructed for less than $3 million, about one-third the cost of a traditional brick-and-mortar building of similar size. It created space to house a student center, a multi-purpose gymnasium, an art studio and classrooms, the campus bookstore and a snack bar.
“There's nothing else quite like the Super Tents. Never has been and I suspect there never will be,” said university President Steve Morgan, who during the facility's initial construction served as an assistant to then-President Leland Newcomer. “It has certainly served its purpose during the first 30 years of existence. And following the upcoming renovation, it will continue to serve the university for decades to come.”
Under the redesign of Mark von Wodtke of Claremont Environmental Design Group, the unique profile of the Super Tents will remain intact. The interior, however, will undergo many improvements during the transformation process. When the first phase of renovation is complete in Fall 2005, the facility