Case Study: State-of-the-Art Performing Arts Facility Gives Young Performers a Space to Shine

Summary of the Project

Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts (RMSOTA) is a fine arts academy in Columbus, Georgia, where students study art, dance, theatre, music, film, and creative writing. RMSOTA serves students grades 6-12 and is a full magnet school within Muscogee County School District.


Columbus was one of the largest cities in Georgia without a dedicated school of the arts. When the flagship project for the city began, it became clear that the new school of the arts would require the absolute best elements of design. 

The design solution also had to address the common challenges of large space designs, including acoustical issues and integration with existing sound, lighting, and mechanical systems.


The performing arts facility integrated all key elements of acoustical design. The main auditorium is wrapped and capped in a premium grade, engineered acoustical wood system manufactured by RPG Acoustical Systems. It provides sound absorption for general reverberation control, diffusion and reflection for blending, envelopment and enhancement, and bass management for low frequency optimization. 

Custom Waveform Monoradials wrap from telescoping arrays at proscenium around the entire space and include perforations in select areas. The audience canopy, also comprised of Monoradials, is a multitasking system that solves acoustical issues and integrates with other systems in the performance space.



RMSOTA’s $36 million facility, funded through the Special Local Option Sales Tax, opened in August 2017. It was designed by Hecht Burdeshaw Architects, Inc., constructed by Brasfield & Gorrie, and acoustically engineered by Siebein Associates, Inc. 

Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts creates a breathtaking visual and auditory experience for performers at all levels to shine. The three-story, 120,000 square-foot facility houses up to 500 middle and high school students. It offers dedicated space for band, chorus, and orchestra and includes a piano lab, black box theatre, dance studios, art gallery, dark room, practice rooms, digital editing rooms, film editing suite, film screening auditorium, and a 650-seat concert hall.


The Theatre at the Rainey-McCullers School for the Arts, as the iconic symbol of the school, was acoustically designed to mirror the spirit of the talented students and faculty.  The seamlessly layered acoustical elements in the room are integrated with the aesthetics of the undulating waves of the solid and perforated RPG Waveform(r) wood panels that shape the sound in multiple dimensions.  Detailed acoustical analysis of reflected sounds was used to analyze each element to optimize its contribution to the acoustics of the space. The rich harmony between acoustics and architecture with visual and aural aesthetics is reflected in the form and materials of each surface to make every performance held in the space a memorable event.

Hyun Gabriel Paek, ASA, INCE
Principal Consultant
Siebein Acoustic


Product Specs:

Waveform Wood Panels

Design Team:

Siebein Acoustic
625 NW 60th Street, Suite C
Gainesville, Florida 32607