Plans for Plano ISD’s new Fine Arts Center moved ahead as the district selected architects to design the project. Perkins+Will, a Dallas-based firm, along with Oregon-based BORA Architects, will work together on the facility.
Last May, Plano ISD voters approved the $481 million bond that will fund the Fine Arts Center, which the district calls its “largest project in the district’s 2016 bond program.” A proposed use-of-funds document says the fine arts building, along with upgrades to current facilities, will cost $94.3 million. The district says it currently spends more than $45,000 a year to rent space for performances throughout the year.
In October, the district approved the purchase of 16.3 acres for the facility on the east side of Alma Drive, between 15th Street and Park Boulevard. The agenda from Plano ISD Board of Trustees estimated the purchase price to be $4.28 million.
The school district accepted 16 proposals from architectural firms back in September 2016. Members of Plano ISD’s fine arts, purchasing, and construction departments made up the committee that assessed the applications.
“Our Fine Arts Center is expected to be a state-of-the-art, 1,500-seat performance hall capable of supporting our district’s flourishing musical, theatrical and visual arts programs,” Tony Pearson, assistant director for facility services in Plano ISD, said in a statement. “With Perkins+Will and BORA, we have two great firms providing a complementary blend of performing arts, school, and Plano ISD experience.”
According to the school district, more than 60 percent of its secondary students are involved in fine arts programs, and the new construction “will support the educational development” of these students. A large performance hall, studio theater and rehearsal space, black box theater, visual arts spaces, and an art gallery will be included in the design of the building.
“We are extremely excited to begin the formal design process on the Fine Arts Center that will serve our award-winning fine arts programs,” Kathy Kuddes, director for fine arts and special programs, said in a statement. “We believe that the creative power of the Perkins+Will/BORA team and the creative arts education team from Plano ISD will be able to realize a vision for a space that is both functional yet beautiful, educational yet professional, and a place by which students, parents, staff and our community will be inspired.”
Perkins+Will has previously completed five projects for Plano ISD. BORA Architects is currently designing a performance hall for the Texas Christian University School of Music.