August 16, 2012

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Utah Performing Arts Center Gets Makeover

Sarah Cutler

August 16, 2012

The New Performing Arts Center held its first performance right out of the gate at an unveiling of the pick for architect and contractor teams Wednesday afternoon. Wicked’s Elphaba, played by national performing artist Carla Stickler, wooed Utahns with the song ‘The Wizard and I’ before Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City presented the pick for architect and contractor teams.

HKS Architects and Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects were selected as the architectural design team and Layton Construction as the contractor. The three finalists were chosen out of a total of 14 proposals.

Becker noted that over the past four-and-a-half years the project to transform the Performing Arts Center has received support from the business, arts and community at-large. He said, “At times its seemed like its taken a wizard to keep us engaging people and to keep this effort moving forward.”

“This new theater, this 2,500-seat theater, right here in the heart of Salt Lake City, is going to give access to audiences and to new audiences that have never been able to experience some of the kind of performing arts that have had the ability to tour around the country, but have not had a venue of this type in Salt Lake City or in the state of Utah,” said Becker.

According to the Redevelopment Agency Executive Director D.J. Baxter the selected teams have worked together successfully on projects for more than 25 years. Combined they bring internationally recognized design expertise and a strong local influence.

Construction on the project is expected to begin December 2013 with a grand opening in March 2016. It is projected to create more than 115 permanent jobs, as well as more than 1,650 construction jobs.

“If you hadn’t noticed this community is in the midst of a renaissance, I think that’s been dubbed ‘Downtown Rising.’ This is a significant time in the history of this city. And I think it’s only fitting that the performing arts would not be left out of that renaissance,” Layton Construction President and CEO David Layton commented. “Historically we’ve been known as the crossroads of the West and I believe the Utah Performing Arts Center will perpetuate the reason to come to this city and enjoy what’s going on here.”


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