San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 16th, 2011
Work to start on downtown Performing Arts Center


Texas State University will host a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, June 3, to mark the start of construction on the university’s new Performing Arts Center.

The Performing Arts Center, as seen from University Drive. COURTESY ILLUSTRATION

Officials and dignitaries from the university, the Texas State University System, local governments, as well as major donors to the university are scheduled to attend the event. The ceremony will take place at Concho Green, the former site of Falls Hall which was demolished to make room for the Performing Arts Center.

The Performing Arts Center will be constructed facing University Drive and will feature a 400-seat theatre, a 300-seat recital hall, rehearsal spaces, staging areas, classrooms and a grand lobby.

Considered a critical need, the Performing Arts Center was chosen as one of the five pillars of the university’s Pride in Action campaign. The usefulness of the current 41-year-old Theatre Center is hampered by limited space, outmoded wiring and obsolete technical capabilities—all inadequate for a modern theatre program.

A lead gift of $8 million for the project was given by the PSH (Patti S. Harrison) Foundation of Wimberley in 2008. When the state legislature declined to issue tuition revenue bonds to cover construction, the university reassessed priorities and placed several Campus Master Plan initiatives on hold to cover the balance of the approximately $43 million cost. The final funding is made up of Higher Education Assistance Funds, gift money and Texas State University System Revenue Financing System Revenue Bonds.

The location of the Performing Arts Center was chosen specifically to facilitate interaction with the San Marcos community. A 455-space parking garage is included in the construction plans with easy access to the venue, eliminating the long-standing community complaint about the difficulty of finding parking on campus for entertainment events.

Also on June 3, the university will host the Starry Night Gala at 6 p.m. at the LBJ Student Center. The evening is designed to raise awareness about the new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre at Texas State and proceeds will support Musical Theatre scholarships.

Table sponsorships for the event are still available. Call (512) 245-2396 for more information.


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