Second phase of Contemporary Arts Center complex to begin in April

Theater and art programs at Shepherd University to migrate to new building

January 25, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • An artist's rendering of a three-phase building project for Shepherd University's Contemporary Arts Center complex. The second phase is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013.
Submitted photo

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Groundbreaking for the second of a three-phase building project for Shepherd University's Contemporary Arts Center complex will be held in April, a school spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The university received a nearly $12 million state grant to add to $2 million it raised locally to build the 26,000-square-foot, three-story building, according to Valerie Owens, executive director of university  communications.

Shepherd President Suzanne Shipley was not available for comment Tuesday, an aide said.

The complex's first building — which is separated by a large student parking lot below and in front of the Frank Creative Arts Center on the West Campus— opened in 2008. The new second phase, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, will sit in front of the first, Owens said.

Whenever the third phase is built, it will sit in front of the other two and face W.Va. 480. It will house a large theater, Owens said.

The Frank Center currently houses music, theater and art programs. The music department will remain there, but the other two will migrate to the new building, she said.


The new building, when finished, will alleviate overcrowding in the Frank Center, Owens said.

The interior will include theater performance space with lighting catwalks, audio-visual and similar support features, a scene shop,  prop shop, sculpture studio, art gallery, general and multipurpose classrooms and computer labs, she said.

The second building will be similar in design to the first and will have a copper roof and shingles.

Holzman Moss Bottino of New York, the architect who designed the first building, is designing the new one, Owens said.

The nearly $12 million West Virginia grant for Shepherd announced Monday by acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin stems from the sale of more than $76 million in higher education revenue bonds earlier this year. The bonds are part of Build America Bonds program under the federal stimulus act of 2009.

The $2 million was raised locally by Shepherd's Create the Future Campaign that was launched in 2006. The campaign, including the public phase which opened in 2009, has raised $16 million, mostly for student scholarships, faculty excellence and capital building projects.

"The campaign ends June 30, a year early and over goal," Owens said.

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