Peforming Arts Center declared top priority for fundraising

The plans for a performing arts center on campus depict a building extending from the back of Fowler Hall. The building design includes a recital hall, a dance hall and a hallway of recital practice rooms. According to Vice President for Development Derek Ritchie, the performing arts center is ranked as the number one fundraising project for capital, or building, projects.

“The purpose of this building is to meet current needs of existing programs and to leave room for growth of these programs,” Ritchie said, referring to the dance, music and theater departments whose performances are currently limited to the stage in McInnis auditorium.

There are 13 members of the development team who handle fundraising. The team members make a point of speaking to potential benefactors about the center if they are interested in performing arts. According to Ritchie, “You never know when the Lord will move someone to actually give (the money).”

The center comes second in priority only to fundraising for scholarships, which is continually a main objective.

The Board of Trustees has endorsed the performing arts center project and has a goal of helping the university complete this plan.

“If we had the money tomorrow,” Ritchie said, “we would start building as soon as possible.”

It is difficult to predict when construction of this project may begin, Ritchie said, because no plans will be finalized until all of the necessary money is acquired.

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