During the spring 2016 semester, ETSU President Brian Noland announced several new construction projects that would take place on campus beginning in fall 2016 and continuing into the whole of 2017. Besides plans for a new football stadium, a renovated Freedom Hall and new additions to the D.P. Culp University Center, the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts was selected for a new Fine Arts Center.

“The groundbreaking for the Fine Arts [building] is scheduled for Sept. 8 at the building site,” said Bill Rasnick, Associate Vice President for ETSU Facilities Management, Planning and Construction.

Groundbreaking will begin at 4 p.m. on West State of Franklin Road in Lot 1 beside the Millennium Centre and Bank of Tennessee. Noland invited ETSU students, faculty and staff to a ceremony for the groundbreaking.

“The project is moving along, and the students will see it come out of the ground over the next few months,” Ransnick said. “The plan is to have it available for classes in fall of 2019.”

Architecture designs for the center were by McCarty Holsaple McCarty, Inc., and construction will be carried out by Denark Construction, Inc.

According to plans by McCarty Holsaple McCarty, Inc. on the ETSU Facilities website, the Fine Arts Center will include a 1,200-seat auditorium, a 200-seat rehearsal hall and a studio theater.

The budget for the Fine Arts Center is $52,338,250 and should be completed by summer 2019, according to the Facilities website.

Currently the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts uses several different buildings on the main campus, such as the Culp Auditorium and the Bud Frank Theatre in Gilbreath Hall, as well as a couple of off-campus sites for performance and visual arts. The new facility will hopefully help centralize some of the performances for the school.

In addition to the groundbreaking for the new Fine Arts Center, the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts has two other events on campus to kick off the first month of school.

“Wind Whisperers of India” will perform in the Culp Auditorium on Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. The concert will feature Pandit Ronu Majumdar and Rajhesh Vaidhya with other instrumentalists. Tickets may be purchased through the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts website.

On Sept. 25, a free showing of the film “When God Sleeps” will be held in the Culp Auditorium at 7 p.m. Till Schauder, the filmmaker, will be in attendance, and a reception will be held afterward.

Big things are coming to ETSU. Where will you be when it happens?