In 1970 The Universtiy of Texas-Pan American started with an enrollment of 7,000 students. It is today, providing quality education to more than 19,000 students, a number that keeps increasing every year.
In order to meet its growing needs and give to the arts their due recognition, the University started the $42.7 million construction of a brand new Academic and Performing Arts Center in November 2012. PageSoutherlandPage, the architecture and engineering firm from Austin, Texas is managing the project.
With the new Academic and Performing Arts Center, the Fine Arts programs will be able to accommodate 453 music and dance majors, up from the current enrollment of 320. The center will be replacing the Fine Arts Auditorium that served for four and a half decades as the main performance stage for the arts in Rio Grande Valley.
As part of the project, existing Fine Arts Music Buildings B and C are undergoing renovations. The full interior of Building C is being demolished and reconstructed, and the second floor of Building B is being renovated. Both buildings will be modernized and have safety and accessibility upgrades.
The center, which is expected to be close to completion in the Fall 2014 will add a total of nearly 14,500 square feet of space for UTPA's Fine Arts programs. This expansion will allow the University to increase its music and dance majors’ enrollment by 41.5%.