The University of Nevada, Reno says it is finally moving ahead with plans for a new fine arts building. The project stalled during the recession.
Larry Engstrom is UNR's School of the Arts Director. He says the university has raised a little more than $19 million in donor gifts and pledges, just shy of the $20 million needed to build the facility.
"We finally seemed to have reached the critical amount of funding to go forward with it, so we're thrilled about that," says Engstrom.
The new building will include a museum, recital hall, practice rooms and electro-acoustic lab. Engstrom says the designs have been around since 2008.
"Right when the economy collapsed and so that was bad timing and that set us back," says Engstrom. "And so we had to kind of just wait that out for a couple of years."
He says the new building fits with the university's push to grow science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM.
"We call it STEAM and add the arts into that," says Engstrom. "For all of the students at the university to grab the artistic side of things helps round out their experience. And for STEM in particular adding the artistic component can render technological devices more appealing or sellable."
Engstrom says the new building will also help attract more art lovers to the city of Reno.
"What this enables us to do is engage with the city a lot more than we have," says Engstrom. "With the art museum in particular, and the recital hall; now we'll be to provide many more top flight guest artists."
Construction is expected to be completed in 2017 and the building is scheduled to open in 2018.