Frisco ISD is committed to providing its more than 64,000 students across 73 campuses the opportunity to engage in a rich visual and performing arts education. This includes the use of a future fine arts facility approved by FISD voters in the fall of 2018.
The District took a step forward Tuesday in forming a public-private partnership with the City of Frisco and developer Craig Hall to build a performing arts center at Hall Park.
At a special Board meeting, the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees approved a master development agreement (MDA) for a performing arts center and related improvements that includes:
A main performance hall with 1,250-1,500 seats to be owned by Frisco ISD
A community venue with 250-350 seats to be owned by the City of Frisco
A parking garage with 1,100 parking spaces to be owned by the City of Frisco
“This facility will be a home for thousands of Frisco ISD students who participate in the visual and performing arts,” said Frisco ISD School Board President René Archambault. “It is yet another example of the City and school district coming together to create a unique community destination that will showcase the skills and abilities of our talented FISD students.”
A 5-acre park with multi-use green spaces, terraces, sidewalks, pavilions, a children’s park, reading room, game area, urban dog park and botanical gardens is also planned adjacent to the performing arts center, which would be built between Internet Boulevard and Gaylord Parkway in Hall Park.
When the fine arts facility was first envisioned by the community group charged with examining District needs prior to the 2018 bond program, committee members stressed an interest in the District exploring a public-private partnership.
Since FISD voters authorized $43 million for a multi-purpose fine arts auditorium, including instructional, training and office space, the District has met with several potential partners regarding Frisco ISD’s needs and the potential for collaboration.
Throughout these conversations, FISD stressed that an expansion of opportunities for students in the fine arts, including both the visual and performing arts, would be paramount to any partnership.
“Frisco ISD looks forward to collaborating with the City of Frisco and Craig Hall on a development that will benefit students, the community and taxpayers at large,” said Frisco ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mike Waldrip. “Voters entrusted the District with bond funds for a new fine arts facility in 2018, and we are eager to expand student opportunity with even more collaborative performances, events and competitions.”
When voters authorized $43 million for the facility, it was noted that the future venue would be earmarked for use by Frisco ISD an estimated 150-170 days a year based on the existing use of auditoriums and multi-use space for gallery events, performing arts and professional development.
“In a district rich with a variety of student programs, fine arts participation is booming with 51 percent of high schoolers, 80 percent of middle schoolers and 100 percent of elementary students participating in a robust and relevant fine arts education,” said Pete Hazzard, Frisco ISD’s managing director of fine arts. “This facility allows for immersive and integrated interconnectedness where students and faculty will work together to create artistic experiences that push the boundaries of what is currently possible.”
As initially conceived, the Frisco ISD facility would include the flexibility for multiple events to occur simultaneously within functional spaces including an auditorium, art exhibit space and professional learning space. When not in use for District events, the facility would also provide a venue to collaborate with the business and nonprofit community to host large-scale events.
Discussions with the City of Frisco and Craig Hall are ongoing as all parties continue to collaborate and explore a public-private partnership. The Frisco Community Development Corporation and Frisco City Council will meet at 4:30 and 5 p.m. Tuesday to review and act upon the master development agreement. Any member of the partnership has the unilateral right to terminate their part of the agreement for any reason prior to January 3, 2022.
Frisco ISD is proud of its robust visual and performing arts programs, and Tuesday’s action is an exciting development for students and staff.