Western Carolina University will break ground Thursday, March 8, on the Fine and Performing Arts Center, the first of several WCU construction and renovation projects funded by a $3.1 billion higher education bond package approved in a statewide referendum in November.
A public ground-breaking ceremony will begin at 9:15 a.m. at the site of the center, on the old intramural fields across from the H.F. Robinson Administration Building.
The Fine and Performing Arts Center is one of 17 projects on tap at Western over the next eight years. Other construction and renovation projects will include a new 300-bed residence hall, upgrades to outdated science laboratories and classrooms and major infrastructure improvements. Passage of the statewide bond package will bring a total of $98.4 million in construction and renovation to WCU, creating a construction boom unprecedented in the university’s 112-year history.
Western is able to proceed quickly on construction of the center because design and site preparation work, including the extension of utilities to the site, has already been completed through previous appropriations by the N.C. General Assembly, university officials say.
When complete, the Fine and Performing Arts Center will be a 121,000 square-foot facility providing classrooms, studios, galleries and support space for students majoring in the arts and humanities, and a 1,000-seat hall for music and theatrical performances. The $30 million center could be complete by spring 2003.