Frisco | September 2022

A CENTER FOR STUDENTS According to Frisco ISD, its facility will be for students at all grade levels who are spread across the district’s 75 campuses. Parameters include:

1,250 seats maximum, more than double the current number of seats


days each year reserved for student use, with options for outside groups to rent space



This year Wakeland High School won Best Musical in the Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theatre Awards for its production of “Curtains, the Musical.” (Courtesy Frisco ISD)

City, Frisco ISD cancel plans to build joint performing arts hall

eorts to build a new performing arts center sought to have at least 1,750-2,000 seats. But city and school ocials learned in May that costs in mate- rials, labor and equipment had increased more than 50% since the June 2021 agreement. Representatives with archi- tecture rm Corgan stated that a 1,250-seat venue would carry a price tag of between $135.7 million-$151.1 million. A 1,500-seat venue would cost between $146.1 million-$158.2 mil- lion, and a 1,750-seat venue could cost as much as $181.1 million, according to Corgan estimates. The Aug. 11 announcement states that due to “each partner’s unique priorities, responsibility to its stakeholders and cost concerns,” the eort would not proceed. “We are thankful for the support and vision from the city of Frisco and Craig Hall throughout this partnership exploration,” FISD school board President René

Archambault said in the news release. “We share the same goal of an expanded and thriving arts community in Frisco, and we look forward to help- ing shape that future through increased opportunities for young people in the ne arts. The community’s investment in arts education will ripple throughout our community for generations.” Frisco Mayor Je Cheney stated the process to get to this point was thorough. “We learned so much about the state of the arts in our community,” he said in the release. “As a result, I’m more condent than ever Frisco can support a premier performing arts facility beneting the entire region. While this partnership project is changing direc- tion, the district remains the city’s most valued partner.” Hall said in the release that Hall Group remained committed to increasing Frisco’s access to the arts. “While this particular partnership has changed course, we are still actively sup- porting the city of Frisco’s development of a programmed community park,” he said in the release.


initial plan called for Frisco partner- ing with the cities of Allen and Plano on a Collin County arts hall. But that deal fell apart after a majority of vot- ers decided in May 2011 to withdraw Frisco’s bond money. A decade later, FISD, the city and Hall Group signed an agreement to build a $100 million performing arts center within Hall Park. The plan was to combine the district’s bond funds with $14 million from the city, $10 mil- lion from Hall Group founder Craig Hall and private funds for a facility of no more than 1,500 seats. Hall also agreed to donate the land for the project. Some local arts supporters advo- cated for a larger facility to attract touring Broadway shows and other commercial acts. A fundraising campaign launched in August 2021 set out to raise $100 million more for the project. An online petition about the

The city of Frisco and Frisco ISD announced Aug. 11 they are parting ways on a plan to build a joint performing arts center in conjunction with Hall Group and the redevelop- ment eorts at its oce park. The announcement states that FISD will proceed with plans to build a performing arts center for district use on school property with $43 million approved by voters in 2018. A site has not yet been chosen. The city will pursue options for a separate performing arts center in partnership with Hall Group that is described as “a world-class, commu- nity-centric and commercially viable” facility, the announcement stated. This is the latest in a series of eorts that began more than two decades ago to build a large-scale arts hall for the Frisco community. An

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