Lower Columbia College | Rose Center for the Arts

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Rose Center for the Arts

Rose Center for the Arts

The Rose Center for the Arts defines the edge of campus and connects the community with the arts. Features include a multi-use 525-seat performance auditorum, 125-seat thrust theatre, orchestra and choral rehearsal room, and an art gallery for student and community exhibits. Additional support spaces include scene and costume shops, dressing rooms, classrooms, music practice rooms and offices.

Extensive use of timber, made possible by a donation from the Rose family, establishes a bond with the region's history of lumber production. Fir and cherry wood paneling enhance the aesthetics and acoustics, along with state-of-the-art variable acoustics, sound systems and lighting.

The glass-enclosed lobby maximizes natural light, and creates a dramatic arrival experience for a variety of performances, rehearsals and exhibit events.

Underfloor radiating panels in the lobby help reduce the cost of heating and cooling the facility. A building automation system measures the amount of light coming into various spaces and adjusts the lighting, avoiding waste. Sensors in the offices and classrooms detect the presence of people, turning the lights on and off, and helping to offset the building’s carbon footprint.

  • Program Architect:  opsis Architecture, Portland, Oregon
  • Contractor:  Howard S. Wright Contractors, Portland, Oregon
  • Project Manager: Nelson Graham, NG Project Services
  • Size: 54,000 square feet
  • Completion: 2008
  • Project Cost: $26 Million
  • Programs: Drama, Music, Art, Speech and Forensics
  • Location:  Campus Map

Ken & Pat Hanson Memorial Music Endowment

In 2010 the Hanson estate gifted a $3.5 million endowment to the Foundation for music scholarships, musical instruments, musical performances and grants to benefit the college's music programs.  

Bosendorfer Imperial Grand Piano Donation

In 2007 lifelong local music lovers Ken and Pat Hanson donated a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand Piano to the college, only one of three such pianos in the state.

Facility Rental

For information about renting the Rose Center for the Arts, please see Facility Rental.

Building Features

Frame and Structure

Concrete and masonry block make up the main walls of the building. This minimizes the transfer of sound in the performance spaces. The steel framing in the remainder of the building creates a light and open feeling in the building's interior spaces. The geological history of the site, which includes a high water table and layers of river sediment, required intensive site stabilization. Geopeirs were used on the sub grade to stabilize the sandy soils on the site. The geopeirs act as hundreds of stabilizers below the building and provide a firm foundation for the structure above. The wood used inside and out celebrates the region's connection to the lumber industry. Cedar siding adorns portions of the building while fir, maple and cherry panels add a touch of warmth and refinement to the public spaces. The incorporation of wood into the project was made possible by a generous donation from the Rose Family.


State of the art equipment in the classrooms with touch screens for overhead projection and video equipment allow for enhanced lectures. The building contains miles of wiring to support these capabilities. Audio from all of the performance spaces are wired to a centralized archival recording room and the recording studio.


The lobby floor features a radiant heating system to reduce heating and cooling costs. The terrazzo floor tile adds to
the beauty of the space and was one of the enhancements made possible by the Rose Family donation.


A state of the art Crestron lighting system senses the light coming in the windows and lowers and raises the light levels based on the intensity of the exterior light. The office and classroom spaces are equipped with motion sensors that turn the lights on or off depending on occupancy of the room. This programming allows the college to minimize power usage and address environmental concerns.

Wollenberg Auditorium

The 500 seat auditorium has state of the art variable acoustics, sound systems and lighting. To enhance the audience's experience and celebrate the local area, fir slats and cherry panels line the seating chamber. The fir panels on the cheek walls and ceiling improve the acoustics of the room.

Ken & Pat Hanson Rehearsal Hall

The hall is lined with articulated maple panels designed to disperse sound waves evenly throughout the space. Variable acoustic curtains can be deployed at the touch of a button to change the acoustic setup of the room. This allows the room to adjust to the needs of a 40 piece orchestra, a jazz quartet or a single lecturer.

Art Gallery

Twenty foot high walls allow ample space and complete flexibility for the display of art. The second level of the gallery is more intimate in nature and will display special items and the college's permanent collection, much of which has been donated. Natural light from a slot skylight gently illuminates the room to enhance the overall experience in the gallery.

Center Stage Theatre & Lecture Hall

The theatre/lecture hall has 120 seats and is designed as a thrust theater to enhance the audience's connection with the performance or lecture. The configuration allows for unlimited set-up flexibility for performances, while also working very well as a lecture and instructional space.

Recording Studio

The walls are 12 inches thick and all surfaces are isolated from one another to prevent sound transfer. The floor is designed with one slab floating over the structural concrete deck to ensure minimal sound bleed from one floor to another.

Public Art Installation

Where Water Comes Together With Other Water by Portland artist Lucinda Parker is 40 feet long and 10 feet tall. After extensive research into the local area, Parker chose to create a piece that represents the confluence of five rivers in our region. The mural was included in the construction funds, as the Washington State Arts Commission requires that one half of one percent of any state facility be dedicated to art. 

Encore Concession

Snack shop and concession stand featuring local vendors.

Eric Colin Feasey Heritage Grove

The Heritage Grove highlights the diversity of our region's native trees and plants. It serves as a restful area of natural beauty, while also functioning as instructional space for programs such as biological sciences, art and photography.


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