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UVU to Get $52M for Performing Arts Center

Utah Valley University Communications
Artist concept of new UVU Performing Arts Center

Utah Valley University officials announced Friday that the school will receive funding to build a new performing arts center on the grounds of the Orem campus.

The legislature approved $32-million dollars for the new center with another $20-million will come from private donations. UVU President Matthew S. Holland says their nationally recognized arts programs have been doing without a dedicated facility for too long.

“We’re an all Steinway school for our piano music program. My Steinway pianos sit right across the hall from the auto body shop. This is not an optimal way to run a music program,” says Holland.

The proposed new facility is one of only four buildings in the Utah System of Higher Education capital development fund. Holland says he’s been stunned by the creativity of all involved in the effort to fund the project. 

“It’s not just arts of the sake of art, I think you can make quite an argument for that, but it is also art for the practical needs of our dynamic, creative economy that we’re building here in the state,” Holland says.

Construction is expected to begin in November while architecture work is completed. The center will include a 900-seat concert hall, theater, recital hall and a dance performance hall. Classrooms, labs and offices will also be part of the 140,000 square foot center.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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