Lexington Two opens new performing arts center and district office

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Performing Arts Center and District Office took place on December 7. Pictured, (L to R) Justin Ricard, Kevin Reeley, Jacob Wilkerson, Viki Sox Fecas and Mayor Michael Bishop of the City of Springdale; Representative SC Micah Caskey; Lexington Two Board Members Bud Summers, Liz Castles, Beth Branham, Cindy Kessler, Linda Alford-Wooten, Christina Rucker (Board Chair) and Tre Bray; and Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade. Green dirt is representative of the Lexington Two color palette (green, black, white).

The gray and overcast skies could not detract from the mood of Lexington Two officials as they held a dedication ceremony for a new performing arts center and district office on Tuesday, December 7. .

“This project is symbolic of the transition from the district referendum period to future opportunities for our students, employees and communities,” said Lexington District 2 Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Wade. “This installation firmly affirms that we are a central, innovative and attractive neighborhood.”

The proposed $ 52 million facility is the latest coin in the $ 225 million District Bonds Referendum approved by voters in 2014.

The new Performing Arts Center and District Office will be located at 3211 Platt Springs Road and is expected to take two years to complete.

The facility will include a working stage with two balconies that can accommodate up to 1,550 people. There will be lighting and sound for the stage, dressing rooms, storage space and backstage. Also included are four meeting and event spaces, two of which can accommodate up to 300 people.

Mayor Michael Bishop

Mayor Michael Bishop

The center will be able to host conferences, conventions and student competitions statewide.

The project marks the completion of the referendum on bonds and also reaffirms the district’s commitment to its schools. Shortly after Dr Wade took over as superintendent, he met Springdale mayor Michael Bishop, who said this meeting was the key to this project.

“It was priceless,” Bishop said. “In the past, there was a real disconnect. Most felt that the district was not very open with us in many of their communications. Since Dr Wade arrived I think that has changed. It gave us a lot more confidence with the district and made us much more receptive to working with them. “

The project has allowed Bishop to continue the steady progress he has worked on since being elected mayor eight years ago. As he prepares to step down in three weeks, Tuesday’s inauguration was one of Bishop’s last public appearances.

Dr Nicholas Wade

Dr Nicholas Wade

“We’ve always had some type of development over the past eight years,” Bishop said. “We’re growing in a stylish direction to be a place you want to be a part of. It’s a place that we want young people to be a part of and to be able to put us on the map a bit. “

The Lexington Two School Board is expected to decide on the name of the center in the coming weeks. So far, three recommendations have been made by a stakeholder committee: Lexington Two Visual and Performing Arts Center (Lex2 VPAC), Metropolitan Arts Center of Lexington Two (MAC of Lex2) and Midlands Arts Center of Lexington Two (MAC of Lex2).

William E. Bennett