POTSDAM -- SUNY Potsdam, celebrating 125 years of education in the arts, realizes its dream of a long-awaited performing arts center on campus today.
The nearly 100,000-square-foot, $55 million Performing Arts Center will house the growing Department of Theatre and Dance, and is adjacent to the Crane School of Music complex.
As the project nears completion, a special ceremony is set for Wednesday, Dec. 4 beginning with a reception at 11 a.m., which will include remarks by elected officials, campus leaders, the project architects and contractors, and culminating with a ribbon-cutting at 11:30 a.m.
There will also be a dance performance during the ceremony.
The campus community will be invited to tour the new building at noon.
The first new academic building at the school in 40 years, SUNY Potsdam broke ground in early 2011.
The building will house practice and performance spaces with cutting edge stage technology.
It will serve as a hub where all the arts -- performing, visual, musical and literary -- can be created, showcased and shared.
The center will open for classes in January, with a grand opening celebration complete with special performances scheduled for April 2014.
"The construction of this new Performing Arts Center has created an estimated 344 jobs and had an economic impact of $128 million,” said state Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome), who is credited with securing much of the funding for the project.
“And when it opens, I'm certain it will be well used,” Griffo said.
He pointed out that SUNY Potsdam has three times as many students majoring in theater and dance than there were just a decade ago, and that the school has the distinction of offering SUNY's first theater education degree.
“The venue will also be a prime attraction for artists from around the world who want to present their work in our area. I'm happy to have secured this funding," Griffo said.