The groundbreaking ceremony for the new fine arts center will commence at 9:15am on Wednesday, March 8. It will be held at the future site of the building where the old intramural fields used to be. Many members of the board of trustees will be there.
In attendance will be Chancellor John Bardo, Adelaide Daniels Key (the Chairman of the Board of Trustees), and NC representative Phillip Haire.
“We’re glad it’s finally here” said Chancellor’s assistant Dr. Dowell.
The new fine arts center will be state of the art and will be “Drastically, drastically different from what they now have,” according to campus architect Wiley Harris. “It will be a great thing when it is completed.”
It is hoped that the building will invigorate the art program at WCU. “We hope this building will help bring out the qualities that art is supposed to be about,” said Harris. “We hope the new facilities will help students be more creative and original in with their art.”
The building will cover 121,000 square feet, with four galleries, many offices, and a state of the art 1,000-seat auditorium.
“I’ll be excited when the ground breaks,” said Andrew Comrie, director of the physical plant, “This building has been a long time coming, and it will be the most expensive building on campus, it will really be special when completed.”
Construction has been delayed by plan changes brought on by building code changes mainly dealing with handicap accessibility. The building was originally designed in 1998 and was sent back to the drawing boards to comply with the new code changes. The project was also delayed in order to wait on approval of the bond referendum in November.
The building will cost altogether about $248 per square foot, for an approximated total of $30,000,000. The job will be offered to contractors very soon in the hopes that construction will begin by early summer. It is estimated that the building will be completed by summer 2003.