APSU has broken ground on a new $16 million fine arts building set to open for the spring semester of 2017. President Alisa White, Tenn. Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan and APSU students were in attendance for the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

During the ceremony, White explained the effort it takes to keep facilities as they should be and a new building is not designed without hard work by the design committee that’s right on campus.

White said she is very grateful for the work of the design committee.

Many faculty, staff, students, guests and officials were in attendance, such as Montgomery Country Mayor Jim Durrett and Tenn. Secretary of State and Secretary of State Building Commission Tre Hargett.

Chancellor Morgan grew up on campus while his father Joe Morgan served as APSU president from 1963 to 1976. Morgan said it was a pleasure to participate in the groundbreaking of the new fine arts building, and that it promises to make what is already a beautiful campus even more beautiful.

“It’s exciting to see construction anytime it happens on campus,” said Marc Brunner, Director of University Design and Construction. “The new space will provide upgrades to Trahern and will be real enhancements for APSU.”

The new fine arts building will include the following features: Eight design studios, a teaching gallery, a two-story display gallery, lecture halls, recital halls, faculty offices, an art education classroom, two general use classrooms, break-out spaces in the corridors for impromptu art critiques and pin-up space along the corridor.

Upgrades to Trahern include repurposing spaces for Theater and Dance, heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, creation of a black box theater (a smaller more intimate theater) and repairs to the concrete.

The Trahern lot will be converted to a grassy area, and the purchase of the Jenkins & Wynne property will add to the parking inventory.

The estimated construction cost is $16 million.

Junior graphic design major Matthew Hemby said he likes the current Trahern building, but is looking forward to a newer building.

“I think this is a very exciting time for art and theatre here at APSU,” said Mike Gotcher, interim Graduate Dean of the Communication Department. “The art department has grown significantly, so has theatre and dance, and they both needed to have the ability to expand into new facilities. This is very significant.”

Construction is set to begin in October 2015.

The estimated completion date is Fall 2016, and the building will be ready for classes spring semester 2017.