Construction on Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center Continues

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The vision for the new Performing Arts Center.

The Performing Arts Center construction project at Kent State Tuscarawas continues on schedule. Construction on the center began in October of 2008 and should be completed by the summer of 2010.

“Right now we have good weather for construction,” Monte Ball, director of advancement for Kent State Tuscarawas, says. “We’re progressing quite well and it looks like the summer of 2010 for completion with a grand opening in the fall to coincide with the beginning of the academic year.”

The $17.3 million building will include a 1,100-seat theatre; an orchestra pit and orchestra lift; a 75-foot fly space for scenery changes; state-of-the-art lighting, sound system and acoustics; and a multipurpose rehearsal room and classrooms. The facility also features a lower-level lobby that can hold approximately 280 patrons and an upper-level lobby with seating for 88 individuals. Additionally, the center will include a Steinway Concert Grand piano on its stage for performances.

To support the construction of the new center, Kent State Tuscarawas embarked on a $5 million capital campaign. Approximately $4.4 million has been raised.

“People are enthusiastic about the project, but it is a tough economy,” Ball says. “The center is for the community, and we can’t build it without its support.”

Ball says the campus hopes to offer programs for local schools in the center and will open the rehearsal hall for local groups such as the Tuscarawas Philharmonic.

The center will also benefit the community by contributing to the local economy. Ball says research indicates that the new center could improve tourism in the area, which would benefit local restaurants and hotels, and attract new businesses.

“There are three things that businesses look for — education in the area, available housing and culture,” Ball says. “Entrepreneurs are attracted to locations offering a variety of cultural opportunities.”

Soon, the Tuscarawas campus will hire a general manager for the center. The general manager will be responsible for overseeing use of the facility, scheduling and programming.

By Lindsay Kuntzman, ’06, M.A. ’09

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