JMU PAC groundbreaking Friday

Brent Finnegan -- October 23rd, 2007

About an hour ago, JMU sent out a press release announcing JMU officials will break ground for the new Performing Arts Center this Friday afternoon.

The area across from the Quad on South Main used to look like this (see bottom portion of photo). Currently, it’s a gravel parking lot. When construction of the Arts Center is complete, it will look something like this.

9 Responses to “JMU PAC groundbreaking Friday”

  1. Emmy says:

    Looks like its going to be a beautiful building.

  2. David Troyer says:

    so what happens to Wilson Hall? Kicked to the curb?

  3. finnegan says:

    No, this is for the western side of Main Street. The Quad remains as-is. It’s where the Zirkle House used to be. Same side of the street as BW3’s.

  4. David Miller says:

    I hope that it is more attractive than the parking deck.

  5. David Troyer says:

    I understand the physical location of where this is going, my question is what will Wilson Hall be used for after this? Will it remain a performance space, just much less used?

  6. finnegan says:

    Ah. I understand your question now.

    I don’t know. I assume that Wilson will become a secondary/auxiliary performance hall after the PAC is operational. But I think completion is a ways off still.

  7. Drew Richard says:

    I can’t wait for this. It’s going to be beautiful and will give a cultural boost to JMU as well as Harrisonburg. The parking deck isn’t really meant to be that great looking, especially the side facing South Main. It will be connected to the PAC in the big area missing bluestone, so it doesn’t look that great right now. Wilson Hall will still be used very frequently. I don’t see it taking that much of a hit. Wilson for most students is just used for speakers, comedians, medium-scale musical acts, and things of that nature. Being on the University Program Board executive board I don’t think we would use the PAC that often as I see that as more of a concert hall used by music, dance, and theater. JMU is pushing for completion by 2009 I think, but I highly doubt that will happen.

  8. Jamie Marsh says:

    Drew is correct that the parking deck is part of the overall design for the new facility. When everything is complete, the deck will blend with the other structure so that only bluestone is visible from South Main. Take a look at the rendering on page 4 of this brochure: With Wilson and the quad across the street, this will be a striking corridor and a great way to route people toward downtown.

    The Performing Arts Center isn’t just an important building for JMU students and faculty, it also has the potential to be a center for the arts in Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley. It will be an anchor in the Harrisonburg Arts & Cultural District (a state designation you can read about here:

    I hope you can all join us for the groundbreaking ceremony Friday. It starts at 3pm in Wilson with the premiere of a commissoned symphony piece celebrating JMU’s centennial. You can park in the new parking deck (no permit needed), and be part of this exciting project from the very beginning.

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