Tri States Public Radio Staff
Fri December 2, 2011
Emphasis - December 2
Macomb, IL – Rich Egger's guests are Sharon Evans, Mick Cumbie, Scott Coker, and Michael Hott of Western Illinois University. They provide an update on plans to build a Performing Arts Center on the Macomb campus.
Evans is Interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts & Communication, Cumbie is the Director of Development for COFAC, Coker is Interim Director of the Physical Plant, and Hott is the Architectural Superintendent.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the PAC was held in April, but Hott said construction won't begin until January, 2013. He said it will take about two-and-a-half years to build it.
There has been talk about building a PAC since the 1970s. Formulation of the current plans began in 2005. The state's sorry fiscal condition has contributed to the length of time it's taking to begin construction.
Coker said there was a one year delay in the release of funding for design plans. The university is still waiting for the construction money.
He also said it takes quite a while to design such a building. Artist renderings of the building can be seen above and on the Performing Arts Center page of WIU's website.
Cumbie believes it will be a phenomenal facility.
"To call it a state-of-the-art facility actually won't do it justice," he said.
Cumbie said there won't be anything else like it between Chicago, Indianapolis, and St Louis.
Evans said it will provide rehearsal and performance space for the Department of Theater and Dance and the School of Music. She believes it will be a strong recruiting tool for COFAC.
The PAC will be built near the Hainline Theater and the COFAC Recital Hall. The guests feel it's ideal to have the arts-related buildings close together rather than spread across campus. They believe traffic and parking will not be a problem, in part because most performances will take place at night.