TAMU-CC Set to Build State-of-the-Art Facility Designed to Showcase Music, Theatre, and Dance Programs

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will soon commence construction of a state-of-the-art Arts and Media Building. The new facility will provide an improved environment for music, theatre, and dance education and serve as an invaluable recruitment tool for students seeking high-quality, accredited programs. By adding to the cultural vibrancy of the Coastal Bend community, the building will also contribute to regional economic and workforce development efforts. The project was approved by the Texas A&M Board of Regents during a meeting on Feb. 8.

“This new building will elevate the educational experience for our students, while simultaneously enriching the cultural vibrancy of our campus, our city, and our Coastal Bend community,” said Dr. Kelly M. Miller, TAMU-CC President and CEO. “We strive to recruit and educate students who will remain in the community after graduation, further contributing to the development of creative businesses, fostering entrepreneurship, and spurring innovation. This new facility is also critically important for our music and theatre program accreditation as we strive for the highest standards of quality, excellence, and recognition.”

The university will build the new facility on the space formerly occupied by the recently demolished Classroom East. It is being designed by BGK Architects in partnership with Bora Architecture & Interiors; the builders are Bartlett Cocke General Contractors. Boasting two floors that will provide 85,000 square feet of space, the new building will seamlessly blend innovation with functionality and will act as a hub for artistic expression, education, and community engagement.

Building amenities include:

  • A state-of-the-art 325-seat proscenium theatre equipped with the latest technology
  • A 200-seat recital hall along with a warm-up room for performers
  • A black box theater that can seat up to 166 guests
  • A dance studio complete with mirrors, barres, and a sprung floor
  • Studios, workshops, and rehearsal spaces, and
  • A dedicated space for a Dr. Hector P. Garcia display.

For the university’s music and theatre departments, which are currently housed in the Center for the Arts, the new facility will provide improved sound-proofed rehearsal and performance spaces. It will also provide space for a costume shop and makeup area for theatre productions. 

“The new building will serve as a dynamic platform for artists of various disciplines, fostering creativity, collaboration, and dedication to their craft,” said Dr. Diana Sipes, TAMU-CC Professor and Director of the School of Arts, Media, & Communication (SAMC). “Music majors will be able to give recitals in more intimate spaces while theatre majors will have the ability to stage full-scale productions. And our dance program will at last have a dedicated studio. It will truly be a next-level transformation for these fine arts programs, and we’re excited to open our doors to our community audiences.”

An accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music, the university offers three undergraduate music degrees: the Bachelor of Arts in Music (with an emphasis in either music studies or music industry), the Bachelor of Music leading to Teacher Certification, and the Bachelor of Music in Performance; there are also two music minors. The university is also home to the prestigious Lichtenstein String Quartet and Harmon A. and Grace W. Dobson Islander Chamber Music Scholarship Program, all of which offer four-year full-tuition scholarships.

The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre provides students with four paths including Acting/Directing, Design/Tech, Acting/Directing leading to Teacher Certification, and Design/Tech leading to Teacher Certification. An accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the university’s award-winning theatre program has doubled in enrollment over the last decade and boasts a 100% employment rate for its theatre education graduates.

Phase 1 of the project is estimated to cost $81 million, with $45 million provided by the Texas Legislature as part of a slate of capital projects at higher education institutions listed in Senate Bill 52 during the 87th Legislature. The bipartisan bill was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on Oct. 23, 2021. To supplement the remaining costs, the university will provide institutional funds and will also rely on donors who wish to help the Island University achieve its long-held objective to offer its creative arts majors a modern facility that will also bolster the community. Donor naming opportunities at a variety of levels are available in the new building.

“We invite philanthropic leaders to join us in shaping the future of creativity and education,” Sipes said. “Their support will provide a transformative space where our theatre, music, and dance programs can flourish.”

SAMC officials are pleased to announce that a new $250,000 Bösendorfer Concert Grand Piano has recently been gifted to the Department of Music and will be featured in the recital hall following the completion of construction. In addition, various donors have already given generously to the project.

Built in 1978, the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Fine Arts Building) long served as home for fine arts majors even as the programs grew in enrollment and found space issues and sound transparency to be critical drawbacks that limited performance options. Plans for the Center for the Arts include renovation to better serve other disciplines that don’t need soundproofed spaces. The new Arts and Media building is the first major construction project for the Island University since the completion of Tidal Hall Life Science Research Building in 2019.

To celebrate the commencement of construction on the new building, a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for May. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2026.

Members of the public who wish to provide philanthropic support for the Island University’s new Arts and Media Building can contact Jaime Nodarse Barrera, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, at 361.825.3320 or Jaime.Nodarse@tamucc.edu