Blog 34 September 9, 2014

As the class coordinator/moderator/amanuensis/cat-herder, the best part of this job is the frequent opportunities to communicate with other class members. This morning, I had a super-nice, fun phone call with Beverly Cole Phillipp. We reminisced quiet a bit about the good old days and more recent events. I asked Beverly about the Class Day program event in which she and Bobby Rios did a reading from Saint Joan of Lorraine. She said she was Joan of Arc, burning on the stake, giving her impassioned plea to the French people. Bobby was a French guard. She sends greeting to all.

The Tobin Center has opened. You all remember the Municipal Auditorium, from which we graduated.  It burned in 1979, was reopened circa 1984 and pretty much fell into disuse around 2005. It has now been completely rebuilt at a cost of $251 million and re-opened this week. It is unique. The hall we knew held 5,500 people seated. The rebuilt facility was torn down, except for the front façade and now houses two separate theaters. The main auditorium has 1759 seats and a small black-box theater can seat 330. There is also a open air river plaza that can hold 650 seated or 1100 standing. The two inside theaters are two separate buildings with a 3 inch gap between to prevent sound transfer. The unique aspect is the floor, which and accommodate seven different configurations, from flat floor to a tiered seating to a rake seating as in a regular auditorium. It can change within 25 minutes. There are only three such configurations existing today—one in Vancouver, one in Spain, and the one here in San Antonio. I am going to include some renderings and some photos below.

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Note the superstructure behind it, also known as the veil. It is aluminum 18,8 separate aluminum panels weighing 111,000 pounds. It has LED lights that can be programmed with various colors and designs. The façade above is the only original part of the building.

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On top is the original configuration. Below is the current configuration while under construction.

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And here is a rendering of the river walk side. Originally an 18-foot wall  separated the auditorium from the river walk. The pillars up the right side commemorate the 32 medal of honor recipients from San Antonio.

This is truly a beautiful facility. Some of you took a hard hat tour while it was under construction during our reunion. I will be giving tours and ushering some, as will Don and Patsy Martin.

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Pat Freeman, Aleen Smith, and Connie Mayes after the hardhat tour was over.

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Betty Ann Canfield Pennick and Tinsley

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A moment of mirth: Betty Sue Conrad Dube, Doug Campbell, Betty Stensland Saunders, and Warner Fassnidge

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