PLANO, Texas — Not one, but two architecture firms were recently named to design the new Plano Independent School District (Plano ISD) Fine Arts Center. Dallas-based Perkins+Will will collaborate with Portland, Ore.-based BORA Architects to develop the project, which is the largest in the district’s highly successful 2016 bond program, according to a statement released by the firms.
The new Fine Arts Center is expected to be a state-of-the-art facility with a 1,500-seat performance hall capable of supporting the district’s flourishing musical, theatrical and visual arts programs, according to a statement by Tony Pearson, assistant director for facility services, Plano ISD. It is tentatively set to include a large performance hall, studio theater and rehearsal space, black box theater, visual arts spaces and an art gallery.
“We are extremely excited to begin the formal design process on the Fine Arts Center that will serve our award-winning fine arts programs,” said Kathy Kuddes, director for fine arts and special programs, in a statement.
Kuddes added that the district looks forward to the delivery of “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.”
Voters overwhelmingly supported the district’s $481 million bond program in May 2016, with nearly 80 percent voting in favor of it. The bond program was established to fund multiple initiatives recommended by a community-based task force. The design and construction of the Fine Arts Center in particular will support the educational development of the more than 60 percent of Plano ISD secondary students who participate in fine arts programs, according to a statement by the design teams. The project, along with upgrades to existing facilities throughout the district, is expected to total $94.3 million.
Programming and planning for the new Fine Arts Center are already underway. The process has included workshops attended by consultants and architects from both design firms as well as project stakeholders such as community members, district staff members and those representing the Plano ISD facility services and fine arts departments.
Plano ISD is located 20 miles north of Dallas and serves more than 55,000 students in 72 schools and 11 service facilities. The district purchased the 16.3-acre site for the new Fine Arts Center in October 2016 for $4.28 million.