interior classroom space

Butte College Instructional Arts Facility

Butte College Instructional Arts Facility | Oroville, California

The Instructional Arts Building at Butte College is an example of what a project team can accomplish in the face of budget constraints, multiple specialized instructional spaces with specific requirements, and a campus sustainability strategy that includes achieving carbon neutrality by 2015.



Highlighting the success and innovation achieved on this project was:

  • An adaptable, solution-oriented project team that adjusted to changing cost factors to ultimately deliver a project that exceeded owner’s expectations;
  • The delivery of a renewable building that achieved LEED Gold despite strict budget constraints; and
  • Implementation of a “paperless” project management system.

Because of its unique nature, this 70,432-sq.-ft., two-story building was challenging in design and construction. It houses a diverse array of fine and performing arts spaces, ranging from a “black-box” performing arts theatre to music rehearsal rooms, photography labs and much more. The building has over 42 specialized instructional spaces, each of which was unique with its own specific construction requirements.

During the design phase, the preconstruction team, comprised of DPR, architect, LPAS, and the owner, faced a major challenge when the construction market was hit with a period of rapid cost escalation. The price tag for the project, which was to be funded under public bond monies, suddenly spiraled up several million dollars. Facing a deadline to obligate the bond funds, the school district looked to DPR to find solutions that would shave the extra cost to make the project buildable within its original budget.

The team met the challenge. One solution included an “out-of-the-box” approach to construct a new structure approximately 400 feet from the existing arts building rather than within its original footprint as had been planned. This option reduced the need to relocate occupants during construction and ultimately shaved approximately $1.5 million off project costs. The use of Building Information Modeling also saved $400,000 in architectural/structural change orders.

The project received the "Energy Efficiency Partnership Program Best Practice Award in HVAC Design & Retrofit” from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.

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Butte-Glenn Community College District