The much anticipated – and oft-delayed – renovation of the University’s fine arts facilities will soon get underway after construction of a nearly $42.7 million Fine Arts Academic and Performance Complex was approved by The University of Texas System Board of Regents on August 25, 2011.
The project, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2014, will involve the demolition of some facilities within the existing Fine Arts Complex and renovation of others. The current Fine Arts Auditorium and Fine Arts Annex will come down, making way for a new 1,000-seat auditorium and four rehearsal halls capable of seating between 95 and 140 people. A large lobby area will accommodate seated dinners and will feature concessions, restrooms and space for patrons to circulate before and after performances.
As part of the project, existing Fine Arts Music Buildings B and C will undergo renovations. The full interior of Building C will be demolished and reconstructed and the second floor of Building B will be renovated. Both buildings will have safety and accessibility upgrades and will get new heating and cooling systems, new roofs and new interior architectural finishes. The architectural firm for the project is Page Southerland Page from Austin, Texas.
The complex, which is expected to be close to completion by October 2014, will add a total of nearly 14,500 square feet of space for UTPA's Fine Arts programs and will allow the University to accommodate 453 music and dance majors, up from the current enrollment of 320, and 44 faculty members, up from the current 38.
Initial Private Funding Priority
Missing from the latest plans is a much-needed 180-seat Recital Hall that was eliminated for budget reasons. A special purpose fundraising initiative that will include naming opportunities for the new and renovated spaces within the complex will soon be announced, with gifts designated first for construction of the Recital Hall and then for enhancement of UTPA’s fine arts programs and the ongoing operation of the Fine Arts Academic and Performance Complex.
Watch for further details of “A New Day for the Fine Arts”!