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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Center for the Arts progressing; utilities groundwork lays foundation for busy spring

To the casual observer, there may not seem to be much happening at University Avenue and Espina Street, site of the future New Mexico State University Center for the Arts. However, with the initial stage of construction wrapping up, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians should be aware that the area will be getting livelier as the warm weather approaches.

Plans called for initial construction of phase one to be divided into three stages: utilities relocation, mass excavation, foundation, underground mechanical, electrical and plumbing, concrete and site utilities. The last of these stages is scheduled for completion in August. Completion of the first phase of construction will lead to a three-story, 59,853-square-foot academic facility.

Those wishing to follow progress on the center's construction will have the opportunity via a webcam, soon to be available on the Center for the Arts website, http://artscenter.nmsu.edu/index.php.

"The Center for the Arts is such a critical component of the future face of the university. This is a cornerstone linking the historic core of the campus to the city of Las Cruces and our region," said university architect Michael Rickenbaker. "This is a place that will attract our community of students, faculty, staff and neighbors to celebrate the arts for decades to come."

A groundbreaking ceremony for the center's first phase was held in July 2010, and construction is now under way for the most ambitious project ever undertaken by NMSU. The Center for the Arts is designed to consolidate NMSU's arts programs into one centralized location. The building is designed to house a performance space with 466 seats, a 74-foot-high fly tower and full theater and dance support areas (rehearsal room, green room, sound and equipment rooms, dressing rooms, costume shop, scene and prop storage). The structure also will contain public space (lobby, restrooms, box office), shared classrooms, a home for the NMSU theater department, and building support (storage, loading dock).

For more information on the Center for the Arts, visit http://artscenter.nmsu.edu/index.php.