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State Releasing Money for Reboot of WIU Center for Performing Arts

Courtesy WIU
A drawing of what the CPA might look like

Western Illinois University said it will receive $8.9 million in state money to re-start plans to build the Center for Performing Arts (CPA) in Macomb. Interim Provost Billy Clow said he feels good about the possibility the CPA will finally be built.

“I’m as confident as I’ve been in the last eight years,” he told Tri States Public Radio.

Talk about building a CPA dates back to the 1970s.  And when Western hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in 2011, the estimated cost was $68 million. That was a year before Clow came to campus.

Now the total estimated cost of the project is $89 million.

The newly released money from the Capital Development Board will be used to bring architectural drawings up to date.

“It’s been close to five years now since we’ve really had a chance to update things. We have to go back through and double check code, electrical, plumbing, all that sort of thing,” said Clow, who is also Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Clow said the CPA will include a large concert hall along with two smaller theaters, rehearsal rooms, and classrooms.

He said the entire project should take about 30 months. He said construction should take about two years.

“I’m trying to remain somewhat calm, although I have promised any number of people that once the (construction) fence goes up and we see bulldozers out there, there is a distinct possibility that I will be dancing in front of those fences out there on Western Avenue,” Clow said.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.