Feasibility study on arts-civic center completed; public presentation planned for Nov. 13 at MC

Feasibility study on arts-civic center completed; public presentation planned for Nov. 13 at MC

Oct. 6, 2003

A presentation outlining the findings and recommendations for a possible fine and performing arts/civic center at Maryville College is planned for 7:30 p.m., Nov. 13, in the Music Hall of the Fine Arts Center. The public is invited.

The presentation is the result of a feasibility study conducted this summer by Webb Associates of New York, N.Y. Jointly funded by Maryville College, the city of Maryville, the city of Alcoa and Blount County, the study looked at potential audiences for and potential uses of a new College-community facility, existing art- and large-group facilities in the area, and the broader benefits and impacts a new facility would have on the community and region.

“ I think the Nov. 13 presentation will be very informative for the public,” said Mark Cate, Maryville College vice president for advancement and admissions and chairperson of the task force. “Residents will have the opportunity to hear an objective analysis of what we have, what we could have, and the economic, demographic and cultural climates in which we’re working.

“ Also, local residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on some of the findings and suggestions.”

Leading the feasibility study throughout was a 10-member task force representing local governments, schools and performing arts entities. They included: Assistant Blount County Executive Dave Bennett, Maryville College Fine Arts Division Chairperson Mark Hall, Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Vice President Herb Handly, Maryville City Manager Gary Hensley, Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson, Palace Theater owner Steve Kaufman, Heritage High School Principal Vandy Kemp, Van Metre School of Dance owner and director Amy Moore Morton and Maryville High School Orchestra Conductor Bill Robinson.

An additional 35 persons, representing other vested audiences, were interviewed.

“ I thought the study was very thorough and comprehensive,” said Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson. “I was particularly impressed with the way that Webb Associates sought input from a broad spectrum of the community, and I think their efforts will add a great deal of validity to the study.”

The current Maryville College Fine Arts Center was completed in 1950 and includes a 254-seat music hall, music library, art studio, gallery and classroom and office spaces. The MC Window of Opportunity Plan, a strategic plan adopted by the College’s Board of Directors in April 2002, calls for a “newly constructed Center for the Fine and Performing Arts [that] will significantly enhance the educational offerings of the College and integrate community and regional activity in the arts.”

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.