The big picture

Frisco ISD’s new performing arts center is designed to be a hub for its arts programs.

“We’re not just looking at the performance hall, but we’re looking at all the spaces in the facility and being able to increase programming opportunities because we’ll have a centralized home,” said Preston Hazzard, FISD’s managing director of fine arts.The $54.9 million center is slated to break ground before the end of the school year.

During the 2023-24 school year, 78% of middle school students and 51% of high school students are enrolled in fine arts.
Zooming in

The center will allow the district to host larger performance events.

In recent years, the district has seen schools outgrow their auditoriums. For example, a band concert was recently held at Stonebrook Community Church because the district’s high school auditoriums have a limited capacity size and could not fit the concert’s crowds, Hazzard said. The district does not have any spaces large enough to accommodate bigger productions, he said.

“This district deserves a beautiful place,” FISD trustee Mark Hill said at a December board meeting. “We excel at so many things in the fine arts place, so it’s due time.”

Going beyond space, the district’s student opportunity model played a factor when designing the facility, Hazzard said.

The district operates a higher number of elementary, middle and high schools as part of its student opportunity model. The guiding principle increases student engagement by allowing a greater percentage of students to participate in leadership roles and more extracurricular activities, district officials said.

The setup

Nathan Huette with Corgan Architects, the firm designing the facility, said his team worked with FISD’s fine arts department as well as the construction, maintenance and technology departments in the district.

“It was a great collaborative effort for our part,” Huette said during a December board meeting.

Once built, the center will include an auditorium, gallery space and office space.

“Frisco is very special in that it is very supportive of the arts,” Hazzard said.

The backstory
  • November 2018: District voters approve funding for the fine arts center as part of a $691 million bond package.
  • June 2021: FISD, the city of Frisco and Hall Park enter a partnership to build a joint performing arts center at the Hall Park office park using bond funding.
  • August 2022: The city and the school district announce they are parting ways and canceling the joint project plans.
  • November 2022: The school board awards architectural and engineering services to Corgan Architects.
  • January 2023: The city of Frisco hires a consulting firm for a city performing arts center in Hall Park.
  • December 2023: The first renderings of the FISD facility are revealed.
  • Spring 2024: Construction is estimated to begin on the FISD facility.
  • First quarter of 2026: The facility is estimated to open.
Diving in deeper

District programs are expected to keep the facility booked more than 160 days per year. Community groups will also be able to use the center, Hazzard said.

Fine arts contribute to the quality of life in a community, said Suad Bejtovic, president of the Visual Arts Guild of Frisco. Community investments into the arts, such as the performing arts center, are returned “manyfold,” Bejtovic said.

Looking ahead

District officials hope to host state competitions once the facility opens.

The project will be generational for future students to utilize, board member Rene Archambault said.

"We’ve done it for our athletes. Now, we’re going to do it for our fine arts kids,” she said. “What a beautiful thing to be able to leave.”