By Michael Bald
Managing and Design Editor
Photo by Michael Bald
The Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center is scheduled to end construction in February and will be available for the rest of the Tyler Junior College campus.
The new building will be a space for the performing arts at TJC. It began construction in April 2018 and will soon be available for TJC faculty and students.
The building was given a campaign fund of $7.5 million in April 2018. It will have state of the art sound and lighting systems along with “14,000 square feet in additional space,” according to an announcement by TJC from May 2020. “In January 2019, the Robert M. Rogers Foundation committed to a lead gift of $3 million to name the new facility.”
The announcement added the front of the building will have the “Geese in Flight fountain” and a space big enough to accommodate outdoor events “serving as equal parts meeting place, photo-op location and popular resting spot.” The auditorium will be able to host events and competitions for the community and local schools.
“Construction is about 98% complete,” said Bryce McWilliams, the facility director of the new building. “Currently we are in the final stages of finish work, and expect to be completed by early February.”
With the theatre department soon occupying the facilities, the faculty have taken steps to ensure the safety of everyone.
“As soon as the facility is complete, the performing arts departments will have access to the space,” McWilliams said. “Performance protocol will apply here as it does in our other performance spaces, so there will be limited access regarding audience, and all performers will maintain a safe working environment.”
A weeklong celebration will be held for the completion of the building.
“We are planning several exciting ceremonies focused on students and involving the community for the grand opening,” McWilliams said. “This would include tours of the new facilities and backstage areas. The details are not ironed out yet, as safety is our first priority, and we’re keeping an eye on what events are possible while maintaining safe social practices.”