- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Crews have gutted the Johnson Fine Arts Center at Northern State University as they prepare the facility for a long-anticipated $14 million upgrade.

Construction began last spring on the project that will add more than 18,000 square feet to the 48,000-square-foot center and give existing spaces updated looks and equipment. Changes include new seating and acoustic improvements in the theater, lobby improvements, a box office, a new black box theatre and new office spaces in which faculty can also teach.

The biggest changes will be in the main theater, NSU Provost Alan LaFave told the American News (https://bit.ly/1LNqGfA ).

“All new seating, new lighting capacities, they’re putting in a new catwalk - an additional catwalk - up above,” he said. “All new sound, all new lights, all new seats, a new shell system on stage.”

The South Dakota Board of Regents approved the project in April 2013. It was delayed in the summer of 2014 when bids came in millions of dollars over budget, but a group of anonymous donors contributed $2.5 million to get the project back on track. Ground was broken last May, 10 months later than planned.

The project is expected to conclude in July 2015. Productions in the meantime have been moved to other spots on campus and to the Capitol Theatre in downtown Aberdeen.

“The students have been wonderful and very flexible in dealing with scheduling issues,” LaFave said.

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This story has been corrected to show that construction began in May, not April.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com


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