Performing Arts theater opening delayed

Pierce College Performing Arts professors and students remain frustrated as the expectation for the opening of the new Performing Arts building comes up short again.

According to Michael Gend, Department Chair of Theatre Arts/ Dance, the project is heading into its fourth year and should have only taken nine months.

“From my understanding, the school in terms of the leadership level is having a legal confrontation with the contractor that is only going to make things more complicated,” Gend said.

Director of  the dance theater Denise Gibson said the lack of space in the temporary building is inhibiting her ability to teach her students.

“It has definitely dropped the enrollment in the dancers we have been able to cast in our shows ,because our theater is so small,” Gibson said. “We can only fit comfortably about eight dancers on the stage. So instead of casting 40 dancers, we now have to cast very small pieces.”

Pierce College ENCORE performer and student volunteer Sharon Fine said that the lack of a theater arts and performing center sends her groups to sing at other venues to perform.

“The fact is that as a singer we cannot be singing here on campus. We have to try to raise funds and find venues to sing,” Fine said. “That is not easy to where we can afford it.”
In April 2014 Director of Facilities Paul Nieman said that the performing arts building could be finished in July and the theater arts facility page has already announced that they will be returning to the new theater arts facility this fall.

However, Gend jokingly suggested that it might be faster to just tear the building down and build a new one because it seems to be stuck in bureaucracy.

The Roundup News reported in a previous story that  Paul Nieman, Director of Facilities told the Pierce College Council, during its meeting last spring that the Performing Arts building could be completed in July.
Nieman said the building was going to have new lighting and sound equipment, a new stage floor and there will be an under-stage storing area to use as a trap room. A whole lot has been done to it.
Several projects still need to be completed on campus.