Signatures mark progress on new arts center
BLACKSBURG —– President Charles Steger and other members of the Virginia Tech community left a mark on the university’s history Wednesday.
Steger signed his name to one of two beams on display in front of Shultz Hall on Tech’s campus.
The beams, which will be placed permanently in the Virginia Tech Center for the Arts building, had been signed by several students and community members as of noon Wednesday.
All Tech and local community members are invited again today to sign the beams from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Shultz Hall, which houses the dining area for Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets, will also become a part of the new Center for the Arts building. Construction on Shultz Hall will begin at the end of the spring semester and will hold two visual art gallery areas.
Cadets have been dining in Shultz Hall for years, but they will soon be relocated to Tech’s newest dining facility, Turner Place, in fall 2012.
Sophomore Alex Zuchowicz, a cadet, signed his name alongside Steger’s.
“I’ve been coming to Shultz for the last two years,” Zuchowicz said. “I wish it the best of luck and hope it stands strong into the future.”
Senior Craig Luxenberg said signing the beam is about leaving your mark on the university in a literal way.
“Everyone likes to leave their mark somewhere,” Luxenberg said. “I like the idea that I can come back years from now and see my name.”
According to Center for the Arts Executive Director Ruth Waalkes, the 147,000-square-foot building will house a 1,260-seat performance hall, an array of studios and several art galleries.
Waalkes hopes the building can serve as something more than just a structure on campus.
“The Center for the Arts building has been designed all along to be a resource to the community,” Waalkes said. “We see it as an important resource and an asset to the entire region.”
Waalkes said the Center for the Arts has already been working with the community to create partnerships for the future.
“We want the community to feel this is their Center for the Arts,” Waalkes said. “We also want to work with schools in the region to have other projects and programs.”
The building is on schedule to open in fall 2013, according to Waalkes.
Waalkes plans to move into the building in August 2013 and anticipates that the public will be welcomed in later that fall.
For more information about the Center for the Arts, visit www.artscenter.vt.edu.
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