$6 million gift for UA performance center
Posted: September 5, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville announced a $6 million gift Wednesday morning that will help pay for the costs of renovating the Old Field House on Garland Avenue into a performing arts center.
The donors, Jim and Joyce Faulkner of Little Rock, said the gift was the perfect opportunity to combine their passion for the arts with their desire to support UA, a news release said.
The planned $17 million performing arts center would seat more than 650 people and serve as a state of the art facility for UA music and theater groups, the release said.
On-campus musical performances currently take place in the 238-seat Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, the site of more than 300 concerts annually. Theatrical productions are staged in the 250-seat University Theater.
“While our current venues have served the university well, their limited capacity is no longer sufficient,” Chancellor G. David Gearhart said.
The Old Field House was dedicated in February 1938 and was part of a building boom that occurred on campus in the 1930s, thanks to the federal Public Works Administration. It served as the home of the Razorbacks' basketball team until Barnhill Arena was opened in 1954.
The construction of a performing arts center will involve renovation of the interior space, and the building’s exterior will be preserved, the release said.