ETSU’s new Fine and Performing Arts Center will eventually be home for students and faculty in music, bluegrass, art, theatre and dance.

The construction of the building, which has been a mutual goal of the many art departments for over 30 years, is finally becoming a reality, and it will be so much more than just a building to the region of East Tennessee.

According to Jeremy Ross, ETSU’s chief of staff of external operations, the center will contain “approximately 90,000 square feet of space for instruction, performance and display.”

The new facilities will finally be able to offer a centralized space for the arts that will be both unique and state-of-the-art.

Ross said all departments have been involved in discussions about the kinds of programs that will appear in the facility, which means that each department’s needs will be specially accommodated in the center. Arts students and faculty are all extremely excited about the new space and said it is long overdue for several departments.

Currently, the bluegrass department is squeezed into Brooks Gym, Sam Wilson and Nicks Hall, and the dance program is likewise scattered all across campus.

Ashley Griggs, a bluegrass student, is excited that rooms like their practice and recording studios — which are now randomly located on campus — will fit together in a way that makes sense for students.

Dance students will also be able to create a space for themselves.

“Dance will benefit greatly from a brand new state of the art aerial dance studio and theatre performance space,” said Cara Harker, head of dance at ETSU. “We are in dire need of better facilities, and the new building will equip our growing program.”

The new center will finally be able to offer ETSU arts students an updated and condensed home for learning, creating and performing within the new spaces that it will provide.

Cara Harker said the facility will help ETSU become one of the premier arts centers in the region.

“Dance will be right on the cutting edge by offering innovative courses in aerial dance, an area of dance much sought after, but not offered at many other programs in the country,” Harker said.