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Lawrenceville Hires Design Firm for $26 Million Arts Complex Expansion

The City of Lawrenceville has awarded Stevens & Wilkinson (S&W) the design project for a new $26 Million Arts Complex in the heart of the Downtown. The City’s existing arts and cultural facility is currently home to the Aurora Theatre, Gwinnett’s ONLY professional theatre and second largest in the State of Georgia. With this expansion, designers will focus on a vertical floor plan – expanding adjacent to the existing structure – to include a new 500-seat theatre, educational facilities, additional parking and common space all dedicated to a vision for a robust arts and education environment in Gwinnett’s County Seat.

City Manager Chuck Warbington said, “It is very encouraging and promising to see such talent being attracted to our community to work on projects such as this one. We are grateful to have S&W as partners and look ahead to seeing how they capture the City’s vision architecturally and help take us one step closer to embodying the arts and education hub we are as a City and as the County Seat of Gwinnett.”

S&W have been in the architectural design business for almost a century, having taken root in 1919. Some of their more notable achievements include design work on Columbus State University’s Corn Center for the Visual Arts, the Fine Arts Center in Albany, Georgia, and the Bailey Performance Center at Kennesaw State University. Additionally, the team’s experience also spans the nation with cultural facilities projects in Minneapolis, New Jersey and Columbia, South Carolina.

“We are excited to have been selected for this unique and very transformative project in Lawrenceville,” said John Abbott, Principal, S&W. “We look forward to putting our design team’s fine arts’ expertise to work with modern architectural design, usable and relevant spaces and elements of traditional flare that Lawrenceville’s historic downtown commands.”

Warbington added, “When you are the County Seat and have within your borders a college, theatre, government headquarters and are serviced by the County’s first-in-class school system, it just makes sense to embrace who you are and build on it. Thanks to the vision and bold leadership of our Mayor and Council, we are excited to be embarking on the next step in this project with a goal of completing it in 2020.”

S&W will work in tandem with the City’s project management team of Croft and Associates to develop a solid design solution for the Arts complex. The firm will work with the existing theatre to keep it fully operational as they expand it within the same block in the downtown to include all the operational components called for within the project. For more information on the City’s vision and projects at-work, visit