ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany State University will soon expand, with a state-of-the-art Fine Arts Center. Officials broke ground for it at 11:00 Tuesday morning.
The 80,000 square-foot Fine Arts Center. will be located on the upper campus, between the Billy C. Black Building and Residence Hall 5. The state is investing $25 million in the building, which is expected to open fall 2017.
"It took several years to get the building finalized for Albany State University, and we are looking forward to officially breaking ground," said ASU President Art Dunning. "Creative industries in Georgia provide $29 billion in annual revenue, so this center will help in regional economic development through university performances and community productions that will be held there."
"I think culturally, economically, socially it adds a lot of assets to this community. And we'll be very thoughtful about how we use it because it's not just a physical facility. It's a facility that will have music, the arts and places where people come together," he said.
The ultra-modern building will include multi-purpose instructional spaces, lecture and recital halls, a band rehearsal room, instrumental and choral rehearsal spaces, art studios and a "black box" studio theater.
"We appreciate all of our local and state officials who will attend the ceremony to celebrate such an incredible moment for the University," said Wendy Wilson, special assistant to the president for strategic communications and university relations and the Groundbreaking Committee chair. "We also want to thank our university faculty, staff, students and alumni who have helped to see this project through."
Art, music, speech, theater and music education will be moved from Holley Hall into the new facility. Designed to achieve maximum space and utility, the building will incorporate over 50 professional staff offices, 12 classroom labs for English and general instruction, and eight studio art classrooms.
Founded in 1903 to educate African-American youth, the university continues to fulfill its historic mission while also serving the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population.
For more information see http://www.asurams.edu. Follow the university on Twitter at @AlbanyStateUniv and on Facebook at Albany State University Official Page.