Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Drawing of proposed Performing Arts Center

For the past year or so The Pipeline has been hearing rumors about the proposed Performing Arts Center (or Center for the Performing Arts...or Center for the Visual and Performing Arts...or The Arts Center for Performing Visuals...or whatever). But up until now it has been just talk...with not much to look at. But now Kinateder, "Utah's finest architectural illustration company" has released this:

Pretty cool looking. The question is will it ever get built. Chances are you won't see much in the way of state funding. This project isn't like the much-needed Digital Learning Center and we don't predict the legislature will be salivating over it.

But perhaps the school could scare up some serious donations from local deep pockets. The Arts center has been on the master plan for decades and many on campus see the building as their pet project.

At the top of that list is Kathie Debenham. Debenham ran UVSC's dance department for years and has been serving as an associate dean in the School of HASS. But with Dean Bill Cobb stepping down sooner than expected she has been named the interim dean (no doubt while the school conducts a national search for Cobb's replacement).

Debenham's promotion, no matter how temporary, comes at a critical junction as many on the campus consider the possibilities of splitting up the hulking school of HASS. Plans were on the table for creating a new school of the Arts with the departments of Dance, Theater, Art and Visual Communication, and Music on board. But at the recent HASS PBA (planning, budgeting, and accountability) meeting most in attendance got the impression that President Bill Sederburg wasn't sold on the idea of a split.

If a split did occur it might mean a greater push for a performing arts center. Like always, the college faces serious space issues. The DLC's nearly 200,000 square feet filled up quickly...and many administrators are licking their chops for more.

An arts center would pull Dance out of the Liberal Arts Building and rescue the other departments from Gunther Trades obscurity. There is even talk of bringing the Woodbury Art Museum from its current location at the University Mall and putting it in the new center.

The building is planned to be placed just north of the McKay Events Center. Yes, that means more parking spots will be sacrificed in the name of progress...but who didn't see that coming? If the performing arts center does end up there it might make the soon to be completed Lakeview Room at the DLC seem a little silly, as it will most likely block any view of the lake.

This drawing also most likely kills one rumor that circulated a few months ago. At a planning meeting over the summer local boy wonder Brandt Anderson suggested that it might be possible to get architecture legend Frank Gehry interested in the project. Gehry is currently producing Anderson's Traverse Mountain project at the Point of the Mountain. Of course that sent a million tongues a waggin' but we never heard another thing about it. The Kinateder site doesn't mention which architectural firm has drawn up this design...but considering Sederburg's relationship with Jacob Alspector (which stretches back to Big Bill's time at Ferris State in Michigan) we wouldn't be surprised if the New York based architect was involved.


bones said...

This would be interesting; if it gets approved.
-Robert Jones Newswriter/photgrapher

Vegor said...

From the scuttlebutt we hear the project's approval seems likely. Basically the thinking is "Get us the money, and we will build it."

The Pipeline spoke with someone close to the campaign today and he pointed out that the illustration shown here is by no means an accurate depiction of what the center will look like...just a rough idea. And an architect has not been chosen yet.