University of Tampa
Rendering of plans for the Ferman Center for the Arts at the University of Tampa.

University of Tampa set to build performing and fine arts center

May 1, 2019
The Ferman Center for the Arts will be a four-story 90,000-square-foot facility

The University of Tampa will soon begin construction on a four-story, 90,000-square-foot building on campus that will provide spaces for fine and performing arts.

The university says the Ferman Center for the Arts will include a recital hall, black box theater, classrooms, practice rooms, art and dance studios, faculty and administrative offices, and student study spaces.

A multi-use lobby space will have gallery walls for displaying art work and lead into another area for music and dance performances. Above this elevated performance area is a combination study and gallery. The two are connected by a circular stair that has a performance stage mid-landing that is suitable for musical performances, readings or addresses to a crowd.

Other building features:

  • A 200-seat, acoustically tuned theater for recitals and other musical performances, dance programs, film screenings and speeches;
  • Two sound-insulated music classrooms, and six general education classrooms;
  • 12 music practice rooms, music teaching studios and instrument storage;
  • Three recording studios with a professional-level control room;
  • A black box theater designed for flexible stage and audience interaction, including rehearsal spaces;
  • A large painting studio and 20 small advanced painting collaborative project studios;
  • A courtyard with casting/sand pit area and furnaces for casting metal or ceramic art;
  • Sculpture studio and wood/metal fabrication shop, including a plasma cutter;
  • The Center for Speech;
  • Student study and meeting spaces; 
  • Many faculty offices as well as faculty lounges.

The building's architecture will feature glass, wood, red brick and steel to complement other campus buildings, including Plant Hall.

The Ferman Center will be designed and constructed to be a candidate for LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. If successful, it will be the university's eighth LEED-certified building. 

The center will be built on what is now the site of the Edison Building, which will be demolished next week to make room for construction. The building is set to be complete by Fall 2020.

Many of the spaces that will be featured in the Ferman Center for the Arts are now housed in former Florida State Fair exhibit buildings, which are almost 100 years old.

The Ferman Center for the Arts follows a number of new or completely renovated spaces built on campus since 2000 that function for primarily academic or student purposes. 

The lead building donors, Jim and Celia Ferman and the Ferman family, have been involved with the university for 70 years.

The architect is KWJ Architects, and the builder is EWI Construction.


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