TAMUCC receives funding for new performing arts center
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 52 on tax liability on Monday. With this bill, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will receive $ 45 million for the construction of a new Performing Arts Center.
The current Performing Arts Center, built in the 1970s, cannot keep up with the growth experienced by the School of Arts, Media and Communication since the opening of the PAC.
âIt was designed for one-quarter, one-tenth programs the size we have now,â said Alison Frost, chair of the theater and dance department. “Our dance program doesn’t even fit in this building, and we have a dance program that has to work from our gym.”
Frost said when the PAC was built there were maybe ten theater majors at TAMUCC, now there are around 150.
Students like junior theater student Harper Lee have also noticed the recent increase.
âThis year, we have noticed a significant increase in membership in our department,â said Lee. “It’s great, because more members means we can do more, but also more members limits us, because we only have two rehearsal spaces, our black box and our main theater.”
Lee said she noticed the increased number of people during rehearsals. Each year, junior students lead their first year classmates in a ten minute play. This year there are a lot of ten-minute pieces.
âThis year there are over 30 ten-minute pieces, all repeating at the same time, all trying to do the same thing and all working towards the same end goal,â she said.
A new building will bring more space, which Lee hopes will allow more opportunities.
âWith that, we could do more student-led shows, maybe add another show. Have more than ten minutes, more than 40 minutes, more main stages; just more opportunities for people to work, âshe said.
More space will also provide a much needed distance between some of the departments.
âI had a Hamlet production on stage in 2019, and while Hamlet has a great fight scene at the end, and he’s dying and taking his last breath, we could hear the band rehearse. âSleigh Ride ‘across the room,â Frost said with a laugh. .
However, the overall hope is that all programs can continue to excel and develop in a new facility.
âWe’re doing great things in this building,â Frost said. âThe School of Arts, Media and Communication has phenomenal teachers and programs, and our enrollment is excellent. We just need an environment to make what we do easier and more productive for our students.
The money TAMUCC receives through Senate Bill 52 is only part of the money needed for a new performing arts center. The university will have to raise more money before construction can begin; and although the pandemic has pushed up construction prices, university officials will now have to reassess the full cost of the facility.
When the new building is completed, the current PAC will be reassigned and used as needed.