AISD debuts Performing Arts Center

The Inspire the Future Luncheon was held at the Austin ISD Performing Arts Center, as shown in a January 2015 file photo.

The Inspire the Future Luncheon was held at the Austin ISD Performing Arts Center, as shown in a January 2015 file photo.

Planning for a new fine arts center for Austin ISD was on the to-do list for Director of Fine Arts Greg Goodman when he joined the school district seven years ago, he said.

Austin voters approved the construction of the AISD Performing Arts Center as part of the $343.7 million bond program in 2008. In January the school district opened the newly completed facility, which allows students to work on many aspects of fine arts from recording music to working stage lights as part of a production, or readying hair and makeup before a show, he said.

"There's not a bad seat in the house," he said, standing in the centers 1,200-seat main auditorium.

The 68,000-square-foot PAC also features a black-box theater, a dance rehearsal space, dressing rooms, a 150-seat multipurpose room that will be used for music students sight-reading, and light and sound booths large enough to serve as demonstration classrooms for theater technology classes. Flat screens located throughout the PAC show what is happening on the main stage, and offices and professional development spaces are on-site. The PACs parking garage has room for 440 vehicles.

The district broke ground on the PAC in the Mueller development on Barbara Jordan Boulevard on Aug. 6, 2013. Goodman said the projects biggest delay was finding a site, and it took time to get plans approved.

Pfluger Architects designed the PAC with Miro Rivera Architects, according to AISD. American Constructors Inc. provided construction management at-risk services. The building is centrally located and designed to be pedestrian-friendly, said Miro Rivera architect Juan Miro.

"We see this as a building that probably will be a catalyst for more development," he said.

Goodman said each of AISDs 11 comprehensive high schools have auditoriums with approximately 500 seats; McCallum High School has two separate performance spaces.

The school district will host student performances, including all-city events, and display students artwork in the center.

Starting in January, AISD has been offering two public tours a day: one at 11 a.m. and one at 6 p.m. on weekdays, with tours lasting through Jan. 30, he said.