Tempe Center for the Arts

Project Management

Project Type:
Performing and Visual Arts Center

Tempe, Arizona

88,000 SF

The Tempe Center for the Arts is an 88,000 square foot, performing and visual arts center. The campus consists of a 600-seat Main Theatre, 250-seat Studio Theatre, Multi-Purpose Room, and Visual Arts Gallery. In addition, the theater comes with a full complement of Front-of-House and Back-of-House amenities located in a 25-acre park adjacent to the Tempe Town Lake.

As the Project Director, Rick Pfannenstiel guided the delivery of this iconic cultural destination on behalf of the City of Tempe. He crafted the strategic plan, orchestrated the Project Team selection, led and managed the Project Team, developed planning documents, performed design document reviews, facilitated cost estimate preparation/reconciliation and value engineering, updated project schedules, and defined and initiated internal staff assignments.

Challenges Met

The cost escalation during the design and construction of the Tempe Center for the Arts posed a significant challenge. Prices for concrete and metals along with an overheated construction market limited qualified contractor and subcontractor competition presented the lion’s share of the challenge. Rick’s tailored strategic plan included value engineering work sessions at major design milestones, responsible use of contingencies, active contractor promotion and bid solicitation, development of bid alternates, and contract stipulations that permitted post-bid negotiations. This work mitigated the impact of cost escalation and the performing arts center was delivered on time and within budget.