The next generation of TJC students will likely see a new performing arts building. This news comes with fresh renderings for a modernized Wise Auditorium.
According to Mitch Andrews, director of institutional advancement here at TJC, the renovations are essential.
“We knew we needed to work on this facility especially when you think of all the different high schools around us that include performing art centers within their bond elections,” Andrews said.
Wise auditorium opened in 1956 and has not been renovated since the 90s.
The upcoming project will meet the maintenance needs of the current facility, and will also include construction extending the lobby. The project comes in at 12.5 million dollars. About 5 million will come from school funds and the other 7.5 million will be met by philanthropic giving.
Construction is likely set to begin by June 1, 2018 and will finish around 12-15 months after.
According to Andrews, the renovations are ”very extensive…We’re providing another resource on campus that enhances the overall college experience at TJC,” Andrews said. Some of the features will include a new stage, new dressing rooms, a new dance studio, and an enclosed courtyard that will contain an art gallery. The update aims to meet the educational needs of the school and the surrounding East Texas community.
“We last year hosted more than 125 arts related events and activities that were open to the public. We want to continue to do that and encourage more of our public to come on campus and by providing this facility we can help ensure that,” Andrews said.
Director Andrews said that this facility’s update is a unique cause for one TJC alumnus.
“This project has a special meaning to me…. I performed in musicals not too many years ago,” Andrews said with a grin on his face.
He plans to “ lead the charge” in raising donor funds for the project.
“We value a comprehensive collegiate experience here at TJC which is one reason why we are such a special 2 year institution”Andrews said. The finished product will be a part of TJC’s cultural arts district which includes Wise Auditorium, Jean Brown Theatre, The center for Earth and Space education, and the Tyler museum of art.