In an email to the Penn community on Thursday, Penn President Amy Gutmann announced plans for a new student performing arts center on 33rd Street and Woodland Walk were underway.
Penn Today reported that the performing arts center would be 36,000 square feet and was slated to cost the University $31 million to construct. Plans include creating a 450-seat theater and stage, and the center will support performing arts instructors and provide rehearsal and practice spaces.
The University is currently working on a proposal for a feasibility study, and the finalized plan and project details for the center will be announced in the fall, Penn Today reported.
The center will be primarily used by students at Penn, Penn Today wrote. It came about after a 2019 study was conducted by the University’s Vice Provost for University Life which identified a need for more space for students to "meet current and future demand." The study used data provided by the Performing Arts Council which represents over 47 student groups and about 1,100 students on campus.
"Responding to the expanding needs of Penn’s vibrant performing arts community, a terrific team has been quietly at work over the last year to discuss and consider this project. We are now excited to share this proposed vision for a new creative space at Penn," Gutmann said in the Thursday announcement.
A group was formed by the VPUL to assess the construction plans, consult architects, and gather student feedback and includes representatives from the President’s Office, Office of the Provost, VPUL, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and the Office of Facilities and Real Estate.
"We are thrilled to be undertaking this extraordinarily exciting project at Penn in support of the thousands of students avidly involved in the performing arts and the dozens and dozens of thriving, talented student performing arts groups on campus," Gutmann said.