Center for the Arts construction moving along according to schedule, ETSU official says

Brandon Paykamian • Mar 30, 2019 at 10:00 PM

As the James C. and Mary B. Martin Center for the Arts begins to take shape, campus officials and members of the East Tennessee State University community are looking forward to putting the $53 million project to use.

Everything has been moving according to schedule since the groundbreaking for the center on Sept. 8, 2017, according to ETSU Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Ross.

As of March 19, more than half of the center – one of the university’s most ambitious capital projects in recent years – has been completed through the help of architects from McCarty Holsaple McCarty, Inc. and Denark Construction, the general contractor.

"The construction schedule of the Martin Center for Arts continues to show a completion date of Spring 2020. Over half of the construction is complete with much of the infrastructure in place. The next phase will include some of the most exciting work as finishes, furnishings and equipment are installed,” Ross said. 

The center has been an ETSU dream for more than three decades. Until recent years, campus officials just couldn’t get the wheels turning to get the project going. Many felt the project was going to be on the backburner for quite some time, despite increasing enrollment in ETSU arts programs creating a need for a new facility.

Now, after years of anticipation and construction past the halfway mark, Ross said he and others at ETSU are excited to see the center be utilized for theater, music and other arts events.

“The Martin Center for the Arts will truly enhance the student experience and offer new cultural experiences for the community. We are excited to bring the building online and give ETSU and our region a new home for the arts,” he said.

In December, Ross said staff will begin planning the first set of events at the arts center this year and “focus on how to bring the ETSU and Johnson City community together to promote the arts.”

Finishing touches to the center should be completed by the end of this year.

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