On May 10, Jessica Pope, communications and media relations coordinator, sent out an email stating that VSU received enough funding to build a new Performing Arts Center.
The cost of this project is expected to be $18.7 million. VSU received funding from the state budget signed off by Gov. Brian Kemp on May 10 and additional funding through the VSU Foundation, Inc.
The new building will be 36,000 square feet to provide enough room for students to be able to perform and rehearse as well as space for instruction and offices. This space will also have more parking available for visitors of the theatre.
Arthur Blake Pearce, dean of the College of the Arts at VSU said the impact on students with the new additions will result in more student retention.
“Newly realized spaces for theatre will address accreditation requirements for the program, allowing us to deliver high quality instruction and to expand and improve the experience for our audiences,” Pearce said. We are very excited about the potential these new performance venues can bring to VSU.”
According to Dr. Richard Carvajal, president of VSU, in the President’s Newsletter, this investment will have an economic impact for the South Georgia area.
“When completed, the new center will be the home of the Peach State Summer Theatre, bringing students and families from not just Georgia, but across the Southeast to our area, along with their big economic impact,” he said.
Dr. Carvajal said the new Performing Arts Center will give VSU an opportunity to impact tourism of South Georgia through the Peach State Summer Theatre season.
“As the flagship institution of higher education in South Georgia, we are committed to making this area the very best place to live, learn, work, and play now and for generations to come,” Dr. Carvajal said. “This new Performing Arts Center will definitely help us live up to that commitment.”
The current theatre area is currently located on VSU main campus in the Fine Arts building but will be moved to where Ashley cinemas used to be near Ashley Street and Northside Drive.
According to the email, Alan Sanderson associate director of facilities planning at VSU said the new Performing Arts Center is in its designing phase and will have construction documents completed by May 2022.
The new Performing Arts Center is expected to open fall 2023.
Written by Isabella Schneider, Copy Editor. Photo courtesy of Zach Edmondson