WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Lexington Two was joined by a host of district and school officials, local political and business leaders, and citizens Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new performing arts center and district office.
The center, the final piece of the district’s $225 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2014, is on district-owned property at 3211 Platt Springs Road in Springdale. Construction is estimated to take about two years to complete.
Lexington Two Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade told the crowd gathered for the ceremony that the “large, state-of-the-art venue will offer a space for performances, special events, and district-wide occasions, something many schools do not have.“ The center will include a two-level balcony with seating for roughly 1,550, as well as four meeting and event breakout spaces. Upgraded systems in stage lighting and sound, along with dressing rooms, set storage and backstage areas, will ensure that the center is outfitted for a range of opportunities in dance, music, theater and more.
“This facility, I believe, firmly states we are a district that is central, innovative, and attractive,” Dr. Wade added.
Springdale Mayor Michael Bishop said the site for the performing arts center is one of the “last big pieces of property in town.” Bishop added that officials appreciate the district’s commitment to the town and look forward to the great things the center will bring to the community.
The primary mission for the center is its use by district students, schools and employees, with additional opportunities for use in professional development and planning, statewide conferences, conventions, and student competitions, as well as community and cultural events, as space is available.
“This facility will offer endless opportunities for our students and at the same time, it will be a great way to bring this close community even closer together,” Board Chair Christina Rucker told the crowd. “There is something special about Lexington Two, and I do not doubt that there will be something special about this performing arts center. This new center will be beautiful, as will the performances that will take place here soon.”
The Lexington Two Board of Trustees, which gave final approval to the project last month, is expected to decide on a name for the center in coming weeks. A stakeholder committee has offered three recommendations: Lexington Two Visual and Performing Arts Center (Lex2 V-PAC), Metropolitan Arts Center of Lexington Two (MAC of Lex2) and Midlands Arts Center of Lexington Two (MAC of Lex2).
The district office will move into the center, a measure that will allow the space to be continuously occupied. The estimated cost for the project is $52 million.
Tuesday's event included performances by musicians and dance and theatre students from Busbee Creative Arts Academy and Saluda River Academy for the Arts.