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Center for Performing Arts Closer to Becoming Reality

Jan 4, 2015

The state will start seeking construction bids this month for a long-awaited project at Western Illinois University.

The Center for Performing Arts will feature a 1,400 seat main theater plus two smaller theaters.

WIU President Jack Thomas said it will host shows that will draw people from throughout the region.

An artist's rendering of the Center for Performing Arts
Credit Western Illinois University

“Once we get that center going – that’s going to be huge. And we feel that that’s also going to be a boost for us in terms of enrollment in the fine arts,” Thomas said.

Macomb Mayor Mike Inman is also looking forward to work beginning on the CPA. He said the city has been promoting the project to potential business investors for several years.

“Now that we can say it’s going to come out of the ground and start construction in the spring, that’s a significant sell for this city when it comes to developing retail and commercial enterprise here,” said Inman.

Inman said the center could draw more hotels, retailers, and restaurants.

Construction of the CPA should being in late spring or early summer, according to Thomas.

It will take two-and-a-half years to build.  The estimated cost $72 million, which includes planning and construction.