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ETSU, community could benefit from performing arts center

Staff Report • Jan 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM

When a report was released late last year detailing what East Tennessee State University might look like in its next 100 years, there was one single item that seemed to grab all the headlines — the possible return of football. A committee appointed by ETSU President Brian Noland to set goals for the university’s future said that restoring the football program, which ended in 2003, might be a real possibility.

Task forces for the Committee for 125 also suggested the university should look at establishing a dental school to go with ETSU’s other medical and health programs. That seems like a prudent idea, although some in our community had hoped the committee would also explore other science and technology programs outside the medical field. Engineering was one such program we’ve heard mentioned in recent months.

There was another item that caught the attention of Dr. Noland, and it is one we think may be the most important of all the recommendations. For many years now, ETSU has craved a performing arts center. Certainly, this entire community has been in need of such a facility.

When the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra resumes its concert season next month, it will do so in the Seeger Chapel at Milligan College. This venue has certainly been hospitable and accommodating over the years, but wouldn’t it be nice to see the JCSO perform in Johnson City?

We think so, and we hope plans to finally build a performing arts center for ETSU and this community don’t get lost in the hoopla over football.

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