Trustees approve plans to build Humanities and Fine Arts Center

The curtain is one step closer to going up at a new performing arts center in downtown Wilmington. Plans to build a 159,368 square-foot Humanities and Fine Arts Center at Cape Fear Community College are moving forward.

The CFCC Board of Trustees met on Dec. 11 and approved a plan to build the $39.9 million facility, which will serve the needs of students in the college’s humanities and fine arts department and provide the community with a new major venue for the performing arts.

The CFCC Board of Trustees Facilities Committee, led by chair William Turner, recommended the proposal to the full board. After a brief discussion, the board unanimously approved the plan and selected Edifice Construction as the general contractor. Based in Charlotte, Edifice Construction was awarded the project based on a competitive bidding process.

Located at the 700 block of North Third St. in downtown Wilmington, the building will include three floors of classrooms and studios, will feature a 1,500-seat performance auditorium that will be used for college and community events.

CFCC Board Chairman Barren Nobles was pleased with the outcome of the meeting and is excited about the possibilities for the future.

“Awarding the construction contract is a significant step in making the Humanities and Fine Arts Center a reality. We are pleased that this facility will provide excellent opportunities for students and serve as an impressive, new location for cultural events for the greater community,” Nobles said.

Turner stated that he greatly appreciated the months of work that it took to create a plan for the building that would serve the needs of students and help bring new cultural events to the area.

“I’d like to commend the college staff, faculty and architects for their commitment to develop a plan that works for everyone. It was very exciting to see all the pieces come together,” Turner said.

CFCC President Dr. Ted Spring expressed his enthusiasm for the project and said that the facility will add a new dimension to the college experience for students and visitors.

“Humanities and fine arts are essential to the educational mission of a comprehensive community college,” Dr. Spring said.

Designed by LS3P, the Humanities and Fine Arts Center is expected to break ground in mid to late March 2013 and take 20 months to complete.

Dr. Spring added that he is grateful to the voters of New Hanover County who passed the 2008 bond referendum which provides funds for the facility.

In addition to the Humanities and Fine Arts Center, the $164 million bond referendum will fund construction of two other projects. The first is Union Station – a 251,402 square-foot classroom and student services building at the downtown Wilmington campus. The second is the 134,000 square-foot Advanced and Emerging Technologies Center at the North Campus in Castle Hayne.