University News

PAC Presentation June 1

May 22, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- A presentation to share final interior and exterior finish choices for the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Western Illinois University will be held from 11 a.m.-noon Friday, June 1 in the University Union Capitol Room. The presentation is open to the public.

Cannon Design will present final finish selections (e.g. brick, color palettes and fixtures). In September, architects from Cannon Design and Pelli Clarke Pelli (PCP) presented the approved Performing Arts Center (PAC) design and discussed the next stages of the project, and in November 2011, Cannon Design presented finish selections and lighting designs.

The construction document phase is currently underway and tentatively scheduled to be completed by November 2012. Architects will develop the technical documents that will be used to bid the project later this year. Construction is estimated to begin in Spring 2013 and is expected to take approximately 2.5 years. The projected opening is Fall 2015.

The Performing Arts Center, which will support the academic mission and programs in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) will include a 1,400-seat proscenium theatre auditorium with two balconies, a 250-seat thrust stage and a 150-seat studio theatre. There also will be dance, jazz and theatre rehearsal studios to facilitate the academic mission of the building, which complements numerous academic programs; dressing rooms adjacent to the theatres; a scenery/design workshop and a costume shop; a box office; administration offices; and a loading dock that will accommodate semis and buses for professional touring companies and orchestras.

The Performing Arts Center, which will be located on the southwest side of campus along Western Avenue, will connect to Browne Hall and consolidate performance spaces close to classrooms in Brown, Memorial and Sallee halls. The newly renovated residence hall, Corbin Hall, which will re-open this fall, will be adjacent to the PAC and will include a Fine Arts Floor for students to complete the living and learning aspect of an arts quad.

The $71.8 million capital project is funded by the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB). While the CDB funded the renovation of Memorial Hall on the Macomb campus and the construction of the WIU-Quad Cities Riverfront Campus, a new building on Western's Macomb campus has not been funded through the state since the Malpass Library in the 1970s. The new Performing Arts Center was first approved in December 2002, when the Illinois Board of Higher Education recommended a $22.5 million FY'04 appropriation for partial PAC construction funding. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held nine years later, in April 2011.

The PAC will include several naming opportunities, including the performance venues, rehearsal spaces, the gallery, scene shop, lounges, VIP room and green rooms. Individuals may also purchase naming rights to seats in the proscenium and thrust theatres. During the 2011 ceremonial groundbreaking celebration, a seven-figure bequest for the Performing Arts Center's operation from Tate Lindahl, a retired WIU administrator and Macomb resident, was announced.

To view architect's renderings of the Performing Arts Center, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations