Construction starts in May for Fine Arts Center

By Desiree Sanchez


The Genevieve Tarleton Dougherty Fine Arts Center at the University of the Incarnate Word will begin its long-awaited expansion and renovation in late spring.

“The project will break grounds in May for the music center which will be 33,000 square feet,” said Sister Kathleen Coughlin, vice president of institutional advancement. It is at Year Three for developing funds and the plan is to raise up to $11 million. To date we’re at about $3.8 million.”

The appearance of the new building will not differ greatly from the current appearance. Part of the plan is to design the exterior side of the auditorium to its original historical facade. Architectural window designs from the current building will still be incorporated into the new building.

Taking up to 16 months to complete, the Fine Arts Center’s construction is divided into three phases. Phase One consists of the three-floor music center. The music center will have new practice rooms, a 150-seat recital hall, choir rehearsal hall, band orchestra hall, more offices and locker areas for the students’ instruments. Currently, band members do not have room to store all of their equipment and the band does not have uniforms.

Phase Two of the project will consist of fully altering the auditorium. The building will have updated technology for performances and be able to seat more than 700 people.

Phase Three will be a reconstructed fine arts facility. New galleries and exhibits will show students’ work and the facility will have more classroom space for students to freely express themselves.

Institutional Advancement is managing all fund-raising activities needed to support the University and High School operations. The office also assists with capital projects, scholarships, grant writing and endowments.

When she heard about the expanded space for the band, former band member Secilie Villarreal welcomed the news.

“All the large band instruments are placed in lockers that are on the stage in the auditorium and right now the band does not have any professional uniforms to perform in,” said Villarreal, a communication arts major from San Antonio. “There is no space to put the uniforms either, so this renovation will be beneficial to all UIW music students.”

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