FISD to Independently Pursue Visual and Performing Arts Center

Written by Korinna Kirchhoff

Photo by Christina Stephens Photography 2021-22 Wakeland CurtainsIn 2018, when conversations regarding a future Frisco ISD fine arts facility began, community members serving on the Facilities and Programs Evaluation Committee gave District leaders a task. If voters approved funding for the facility, they encouraged FISD to explore all potential partnerships before determining the best plan to serve students. 

That November, voters approved a $691 million bond package that earmarked $43 million for the fine arts facility.

Ever since, FISD leadership has engaged several entities interested in expanding arts education and student opportunity. The District entered an agreement with the City of Frisco and Hall Group to build a performing arts center in June 2021.

After months of meticulous research and reviewing entity priorities, Frisco ISD has decided it will best serve students by independently building a Visual and Performing Arts Center using land already owned by the District. A project that could meet the needs of all the parties would require additional financing from both the public and private sectors, so it was determined that the best way for the district to move forward is to build a facility with the core purpose of serving students.

“The community asked us to do our due diligence and explore opportunities with the potential to benefit our students, and I am proud to say we have done that,” said Board President René Archambault. “We are thankful for the support and vision from the City of Frisco and Craig Hall throughout this partnership exploration. We share the same goal of an expanded and thriving arts community in Frisco, and we look forward to helping shape that future through increased opportunities for young people in the fine arts.”

The fine arts facility described to and approved by Frisco ISD voters in 2018 included a 1,250-seat auditorium and spaces for a gallery, instructional training and offices. 

During feasibility explorations, the District temporarily agreed to expand the scope of the project to 1,500 seats to accommodate potential use by commercial entities; however, FISD will move forward with the project as originally outlined to voters:

  • A facility with a maximum capacity of 1,250, more than doubling the size of the current campus auditoriums, which seat 600.

  • Expanded future-ready learning and student opportunities. 

    • Expanded collaborative performances between fine arts disciplines, campuses and grade levels. 

    • Maximized student instructional time by hosting student events at the fine arts facility that normally occur during the school day.

  • Use of the facility more than 160 days per year, with the potential for outside groups and/or partners to utilize the facility as well.

  • Future hosting of UIL and evaluative competitive events in order to reduce fine arts instructional time lost at host campuses. 

Design work on the FISD Visual and Performing Arts Center is expected to get underway this fall, delivering on the project voters approved. Keep track of the progress.

“As a Board, we look forward to fulfilling the promise of our bond program and expanding artistic opportunities for our students and teachers,” Archambault said. “The community’s investment in arts education will ripple throughout our community for generations.”

Frisco ISD artistic programming is renowned across the state and currently serves more than 52,000 elementary and secondary students. Find the latest accolades.

“Throughout the exploration process, it has been clear that the community supports the arts, and we are proud to be part of that vision as we solidify the expansion of arts education,” said Pete Hazzard, managing director of fine arts.

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