AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin will delay for one year fire and life safety enhancements to the Bass Concert Hall to further support Austin’s arts organizations involved in fund-raising for the future Joe R. And Teresa Long Center for the Performing Arts, President Larry R. Faulkner announced.
The university had planned to begin work on Bass Concert Hall, one of eight venues under the Performing Arts Center (PAC) in the College of Fine Arts, in April 2006, with completion of the project scheduled for September 2007. It now will begin the project in April 2007, with completion slated for September 2008.
The city’s symphony, opera, ballet and other major art groups use Bass Concert Hall 18 out of 32 weeks during the season. The university has partnered with these organizations for many years, providing substantial financial support to them in the form of discounted rental fees.
Bass Concert Hall, a 20-year-old facility that seats 3,000, was scheduled to close in April 2006 for fire safety renovations. The first phase of the Long Center won’t be finished until 2007. That would have left Austin’s arts organizations without a performance venue until the Long Center’s completion.
Faulkner said the delay reflects the university’s continuing commitment to construction of the Long Center and the university’s desire to maintain a mutually beneficial partnership with the city’s performing arts organizations.
Postponement of construction will extend the time arts organizations will be able to use the Bass Concert Hall while the Long Center is being built. Faulkner, who noted that the PAC already is a very safe facility, said the university has begun working with architectural and engineering firms to develop a plan for fire and life safety enhancements in the center.
The Long Center, a $110 million project, will be a performance venue featuring four acoustically superior theaters under one roof. Located in the heart of Austin on Town Lake and Auditorium Shores at the site of the old Palmer Auditorium, the Long Center will serve more than 250 performing arts groups in Central Texas, celebrated musicians and artists throughout Texas, and area schoolchildren.
For more information contact: Bruno Longarini, College of Fine Arts, 512-475-7021.