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Groundbreaking Aug. 16 at Mesa Community College for performing arts center, new art gallery 
Above top, a rendering of the PAC; below that is a rendering of the art gallery. (Graphics courtesy of Maricopa County Community College District.)

Mesa Community College held its official groundbreaking for its new Performing Arts Center and Art Gallery at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at the former Harkins Theatre, 1520 S. Longmore.

(See an exclusive video of officials wielding sledge hammers for the ground-breaking ceremony for the performing arts center at http://arizona.newszap.com/eastvalley/115951-114/sledge-hammer-ground-breaking-ceremony-for)

In fall 2004, voters approved a $951 million bond for the Maricopa County Community College District that included $90 million for new construction and remodeling and $25 million for technology and site improvements for MCC. The performing arts center and art gallery projects are a result of the 2004 bond initiative, according to a press release.

DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. have been contracted to design the MCC art gallery. It will be on the south side of the Southern and Dobson campus, close to the Theatre Outback. Student, faculty, college and national art shows will be held in the new facility. The art gallery should be completed by summer 2013.

Scheduled to open spring 2014, the MCC Performing Arts Center is being designed by Jones Studio of Phoenix; a rendering is at top left. The design will include adding a 462-seat theatre venue to the building. Remodeling of the present theater will provide for a band room, choral room and production support space. Musical plays, dance recitals, band and choral performances, recitals and more will be held in the new facility.

Mesa Community College is one of 10 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.

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