Few projects on campus are as eagerly anticipated as the Performing Arts Center, set for completion in fall 2013. Taking shape at the corner of University Drive and Moon Street, it will house a 400-seat theatre and a 300-seat recital hall, plus a grand lobby, rehearsal space, a scenery shop, staging areas and classrooms.
Although construction has begun, we need funding to finish out the building and complete the proposed scene shop, space for design, and rehearsal and conference rooms. We can accomplish these goals with support from the Performing Arts Pillar.
Students in Texas State’s School of Music will perform in the modern recital hall — quite a step up from the existing, 149-seat recital hall housed in a renovated gymnasium. The new hall will host student and faculty performances, the fast-rising Texas State Opera Theatre program as well as national touring artists through the Encore University Performing Arts series.
This beautiful addition to Texas State will connect our campus to the larger community and give us a stunning gateway into the south central portion of campus, while providing a proper performing venue for the talents of our students and faculty.
You can be part of the excitement — and make these students’ dreams come true — by supporting the Performing Arts Pillar.
The university considered the Performing Arts Center such a critical need that it quickly rose to the top of our physical needs in the strategic planning process. Because of its importance, it was selected as one of the five pillars of the Pride in Action campaign. Patti Harrison of Wimberley gave us the lead gift for the project — $8 million. Her faith in the vision launched the fundraising for the Center and kept it at the top of our “must do” list.
Texas State University hired one of the best firms in the nation to do the feasibility study for the Center. Pfeiffer Partners has done performing arts facilities from the University of Southern California to Notre Dame to the State University of New York. Our architect is Morris Architects, based in Houston, Los Angeles and Orlando. Morris has designed many high-profile performing arts centers, including the Blumenthal Center in Charlotte, N.C., the Hobby Center and the Wortham Theatre Center in Houston, and the Disney Institute Recital Hall in Florida. Our contractor is Hunt Construction, which is currently building the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center in Midland-Odessa for the UT System.
Following the announcement of Mrs. Harrison’s gift in 2008, we sought special-item funding from the state in the 2009 legislative session. When that funding was not forthcoming, we took the unusual step of putting on hold some anticipated projects of the Campus Master Plan and channeled Higher Education Assistance Funds that were to be used for those projects into the Center. We continue to seek private funding to finish out the building.
A 455-space parking garage is also part of the project, and the block of Edward Gary between the garage and the Center will become a tree-lined walkway, in keeping with the Campus Master Plan’s goal of turning the campus “from gray to green.” The recital hall and theatre will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, meaning they meet the tough standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Performing Arts Center will showcase our students, attract other talented students and faculty, increase community support and enable us to bring national and international productions to campus. It will launch scores of future stars and serve as the cultural center of campus.