The Arlington school district will build a fine arts center and a districtwide athletics complex on the former site of the Eastern Star Home near AT&T Stadium, officials announced Thursday evening.
The property was acquired by the district in December and will place both facilities on the southern edge of the city’s entertainment district.
“We are excited to locate these two facilities in the heart of the entertainment district,” Board President Jamie Sullins said in a statement. “This location allows tremendous potential for partnerships that will benefit our students and provide them a truly outstanding education that will prepare them for the college or career of their choice.”
The fine arts center will include a 2,500-seat performance hall, a 400-seat theater, classroom space, art and dance studios, an instrument repair center, and gallery space. It will serve all students in the district.
“The fine arts center is a hallmark of our 2014 bond program and will provide our students with a premier performance venue and exceptional opportunities to take innovative courses, such as UNT dual-credit music, for years to come,” Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos said in a statement. “This facility will bring the best design elements of both professional venues and K-12 spaces together to create a world-class facility for our students and staff.”
Trustees voted Thursday to select HKS Architects to design the fine arts center. One of HKS’ partners for the project is iD!BRi, which the district described as a firm with strong acoustical experience that worked on the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas and the New World Center in Miami Beach.
The school district has been busy with construction projects ever since voters approved a record $663.1 million bond program three years ago. Two of the key districtwide projects — an agriculture science center and a career and technical education center — are set to open in August.
The school district bought the 28.5-acre former Eastern Star site near Division and Collins streets on Dec. 22, according to deed records. The Eastern Star retirement home, which had been vacant since 2001, was torn down in 2013.
At its Dec. 8 meeting trustees met in closed session to discuss a real estate purchase for a fine arts center. District officials have been exploring partnerships with public and private entities for the center, which is expected to cost about $32 million for construction and design.
Cindy Powell, the district’s chief financial officer, has previously said that the district has some leeway to finish the building by its fall 2018 projected completion date because classes don’t have to be held there the day school starts.
The school board on Thursday also authorized the sale of property located at the southeast corner of West Arbrook Boulevard and Center Street. The district no longer needs the 21.8-acre property.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.