Wayland Updates Seating in Harral Auditorium


PLAINVIEW – Students and community members will feel a little more comfortable when using Harral Auditorium at Wayland Baptist University this fall. The approximately 1,200-seat facility is begin updated with new seating, as well as video screens, projectors and updated sound equipment.

The project is well under way as work crews unloaded 50,000 pounds of seating from two tractor trailers on Thursday and Friday. The bright blue seats will be assembled and installed beginning on Monday (June 28). More than 11,000 pounds of scrap metal was hauled off when the old seats were removed. Older seats that are still in good working condition are being stored.

Funded largely by the Board of Trustees, the much-needed renovation project will be complete by the time school starts in the fall. The auditorium will feature two retractable video screens with projectors mounted from the ceiling to go along with updated sound equipment, providing a better audio-visual experience for audience members. The screens and projectors have already been installed.

The new seating is the third set of seats to be installed in the auditorium. The seats will be assembled, then bolted to the concrete floor. The layout of the auditorium will remain the same with aisles on each side and two aisles running through the sections of seats. In its original configuration, the auditorium featured a front section of seats with no aisles in the center. Seats stretched from one side of the auditorium to the other, making it difficult to get to center seats. The aisles were added to the front section when the original seating was replaced in the 1990s.

Made possible by a $500,000 gift from Mrs. J.L. Harral of Abernathy in 1964, the building was completed in 1969. The official dedication included a Neil Diamond concert. Harral Auditorium replaced the auditorium located on the second floor of Gates Hall, which has since been turned into a large classroom and office space.