UT Martin cuts ribbon on renovated, expanded Fine Arts Building - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

UT Martin cuts ribbon on renovated, expanded Fine Arts Building

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(Source: UT Martin) (Source: UT Martin)

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Fine Arts Building on the UT Martin campus was held Friday afternoon.

Those present included Weakley County Mayor Houston Patrick, Martin Mayor Randy Brunduge, UT Martin Chancellor emeritus Margaret Perry, UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson, UT Martin professor emeritus of music Allison Nelson, UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes and UT President Joe DiPietro.

"Today is an exciting day," Rakes said. "We have not had a new building on this campus in 40 years, and this building gives you that feel. We have a nationally recognized faculty, and now we have the space to back that up."

The expanded building is now 112,000 square feet and the completion cost was $14 million. It will house the department of music and visual and theater arts, and include more than 16 classrooms, 24 office/studio rooms, 35 offices, 23 individual practice rooms, a choir-recital hall, a band practice room, a percussion rehearsal room, a graphic arts lab, ceramics lab, fabrics lab, sculpture lab, costume shop, scene shop and a state-of-the-art black box (acting classroom) theater with the most up-to-date sound and lighting available. The new black box theater seats 110 people.

The existing 53,000 square foot building was expanded by 60,000 square feet. Plans are under way for Phase Two of this project, which will include a renovation of the Harriet Fulton Theatre.

Classes and personnel left the building four years ago, and all classes will return to the expanded building this fall semester. Classes start Monday, Aug. 26.

"We are fortunate to share the completion of this building," Rakes said. "It was predominately funded by the state. Vision is essential, but execution is required."

DiPietro said he had a special fondness for the UT Martin campus and the Fine Arts Building, because he grew up on a college campus similar to UT Martin where his father was a math professor and his mother was a librarian.

DiPietro, Rakes and the more than 250 people at the ribbon cutting were fans.

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