University of Cincinnati – Probasco Hall – 048
University of Cincinnati – Probasco Hall
McGill Smith Punchon Design
Cost of project
$6.3 million
Building Size
20,000 GSF

As a result of an increase in student enrollment, the University of Cincinnati needed a large lecture hall and classroom space. At the same time, UC wanted to expand its campus footprint. UC acquired the vacant Second Church of Christ Scientist, a 1920s era Greek Revival building, to fill that void. Located at Clifton Avenue and Probasco Street, it also expands the campus footprint. Our challenge was to transform the existing church into a 430-seat student-accessible lecture hall. In addition, the lower level would serve as classroom space.

Maintaining the architectural character of the neoclassical Greek Revival building was essential. To define the full extent of needed repairs, MSP undertook a detailed assessment, including complete laser scan of both the interior and exterior along with on-site inspections by restoration experts. All infrastructure elements were upgraded including A/V, acoustics, information access, and MEP systems. The central two-story sanctuary space serves as the primary presentation and lecture hall featuring a retractable split-screen rear-projection system. The original wooden pews provide seating with custom-designed folding tablet arms with power and data connections. Surround-sound and modern lighting controls help create an immersive experience. Lower level active learning classrooms increase flexibility and allow for greater student access.

Probasco Auditorium is now a state of the art lecture and presentation venue in a beautifully restored historic building. It meets UC’s operational standards for a 21st century learning environment. The new facility can be used by students from all academic programs, as well performing arts such as plays and musical concerts, while allowing for digital connection to other campuses and audiences throughout the world.