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VCSU breaks ground on $32 million Center for the Arts

Jun 25, 2020

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Center for the Arts at Valley City State University was held Wednesday morning, June 24. University officials, along with community, regional and state leaders, gathered with representatives from the architectural, construction and site preparation firms to break ground on the $32 million project.

Funded by a state appropriation from the 66th North Dakota Legislative Assembly with the approval of Gov. Doug Burgum, the Center for the Arts will bring the VCSU art and music programs together in a state-of-the-art facility replete with spaces designed specifically for the disciplines.

Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included VCSU President Alan LaFave; Roxanne Nelson, arts, community and education principal at HGA, architects for the project; Marc Mellmer, vice president of JE Dunn Construction; Dave Carlsrud, mayor of Valley City; and Angeline Gannon, VCSU Student Senate president. Wesley Wintch, VCSU vice president of business affairs and chair of the Center for the Arts Steering Committee, served as emcee.

“Given the situation with COVID-19, sometimes it feels like the world is standing still,” said President Alan LaFave. “We are not standing still at VCSU. We are moving forward; we are moving forward together. This ceremony today is an important milestone at the university, one that will help secure our future and a big step as we create a showcase for the arts for our students, the campus community and Valley City. Thank you to all who played a role in the planning and funding of the Center for the Arts.”

Art facilities in the new building will include a ceramics lab; printmaking, painting and drawing studios; a digital design lab; a digital photography studio; and a woodshop. An art gallery will provide a highly visible, secure space to showcase student and visiting artist exhibitions.

Music facilities will include a 350-seat performance hall, a 100-seat recital hall/choral room, a band room, a piano/computer lab, a recording and production studio, large and small practice rooms, and faculty offices/studios. Acoustic treatments have been designed for all performance, rehearsal and practice spaces, and the larger spaces feature adjustable acoustics and audio/video recording capabilities.

Gathering spaces will be found throughout the building, and a grand lobby will provide a reception area and showcase for the arts at VCSU.

Rendering of new campus Center for the Arts