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BYU to construct new arts building, coming in 2025

By Ashtyn Asay - | Jun 10, 2022
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A rendering of the new arts building at BYU, set to be built where the Harris Fine Arts Center currently stands.
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A rendering of a theater space at the new BYU arts building.

The Brigham Young University College of Fine Arts and Communications will temporarily occupy the former Provo High School building as its new arts building is constructed.

According to an announcement made by BYU on Monday, the university’s board of trustees voted to approve plans to build a new arts building for the College of Fine Arts and Communications where the Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center currently stands.

The Harris Fine Arts Center, located north of the Wilkinson Student Center, was designed by architect William Pereira and dedicated in 1965. The building currently houses four of the College of Fine Arts and Communications’ six academic units.

The Harris Fine Arts Center is scheduled for demolition following the completion of the new music building in the first quarter of 2023, and construction of the new arts building will begin immediately following demolition.

The new arts building will hold offices for the college, academic spaces, a production studio, multiple art and design galleries, and performance spaces, as well as a cinema and media viewing rooms. The departments of Art, Design and Theatre & Media Arts will also be housed in this building.

A large collaborative hub will be housed in the new arts building for students in the Department of Design, as well as a large combination lobby and gathering area. The building will also feature a six-station lactation room to accommodate students and patrons.

“The new building will create proximity and more opportunities for collaboration and student mentoring,” Ed Adams, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications, said in a news release. “Our faculty and staff are now spread over five floors and are located at the far ends of the Harris Fine Arts Center from each other.”

The School of Music, which is currently housed in the Harris Fine Arts Center, will move to the new music building upon its completion.

“The arts and music programs are beacons of excellence for the university,” Shane Reese, BYU academic vice president, stated in a news release. “We look forward to these two new, beautiful buildings which will accentuate the amazing talents of our students, faculty and staff who work in that college.”

Big D Construction will serve as the general contractor for the project, working alongside Dallas-based HKS Architects. The arts building is expected to be completed near the end of 2025.

While the new arts building is under construction, the College of Fine Arts and Communications will occupy the former Provo High School building, located on University Avenue. BYU purchased the 25-acre property that the building sits on in 2016 for $25 million.


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