Central Piedmont Community College’s Parr Center Wins ACEC’s 2023 Vertical Structures Grand Award

Stewart is thrilled to share that the Central Piedmont Community College Parr Center has won the 2023 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Vertical Structures Grand Award. With a stunning view of Charlotte’s skyline as its backdrop, the Parr Center provides a new heart to the Central Campus.

The 184,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility includes Student Services administrative offices, the Hagemeyer Library, a student union featuring Catalyst coffee bar, a 450-seat theater, the Dove Gallery showcasing visual arts programs and featured artists, various private and collaborative study spaces, and a unique green roof.

The structural system of the building yielded many constructibility and design challenges, which Stewart’s engineers overcame with innovative design solutions. Challenges included the existing site conditions, mixing of structural materials for lateral force-resisting systems, complex steel framing, and a pedestrian bridge connecting this new structure to the existing Central High Building. The green roof, library floor, and roof are framed above the theater and are supported by two 10-foot-deep steel trusses spanning 60 feet and 81 feet over the theater space. The catwalk and sound dampening systems are hung from the library floor, above the theater space. The building also has ten steel stairs located within the structure. Seven are unique in bearing or hanging conditions with exposed elements. The main stair has a single post that supports the landing and two stringers, creating a “floating” stair effect. The other unique stair is the large collaborative stairs that required significant coordination and details by the design team. The collaborative stairs serve as a focal point of the building and provide a unique workspace for students and faculty at Central Piedmont Community College.

“It is an honor to be part of the amazing team that worked on this award-winning project! It was fast paced from the start and included early structural packages that pushed us to be as far ahead in the design as we could. Thanks to the entire Stewart team that put in the time and effort to get this done. Special thanks to Morris Berg and CPCC for allowing us to be part of this project. We love to build our community and this project will be a cornerstone at CPCC for generations to come.”

Lance Williams, PE LEED AP
VP | Practice Leader, Structural Engineering

Congratulations to the entire design team on a job well done!