May 042003
Authors: Colleen Buhrer

The new University Center for the Arts complex is under construction after the groundbreaking ceremony Friday.

The 22,000-square-foot concert hall is scheduled to be finished in May 2004. The $7 million complex will have seating for about 500 people and will be used primarily for performances by the music, theater and dance departments and as an educational facility for students, according to a press release.

“I think people will be amazed by the quality of the sound in the concert hall,” said Tom Moss, manager of design and construction for Facilities Management, in a press release. “We have hired acoustical engineers to help assure high-quality design and performance of this new venue. The design includes amphitheater-type architecture with walls, ceiling and seating that will provide the best sound possible.”

The complex is located on the northwest side of the historic Fort Collins High School, 1400 Remington St., which was purchased by the university in 1997.

“We worked extensively with the community and neighborhood groups, architects and students to develop plans that would enhance the original 1924 structure,” said Brian Chase, director of Facilities Management in a press release. “The design and materials for the concert hall will be consistent with the look of the old Fort Collins High School columns and tower.”

The concert hall was funded by $5 million in private fund and $2 million from the university. A $2 million centerpiece gift was given to the University Center for the Arts from the Griffin Foundation in memory of Edna Rizley Griffin.

The facility will be named the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall upon approval by the Board of Governors for the CSU System. Griffin was a longtime advocate and benefactor of the performing arts.

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