The Board of Trustees Master Planning and Facilities Committee votes to scale back the university Arts District project. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Managing Editor for Multimedia

The Board of Trustees Master Planning and Facilities Committee met Thursday to discuss changes to the Arts District construction and review designs for a new agricultural research complex.

The committee announced that the $161-million university Arts District project  — which will house facilities for the School of Music and Department of Theatre — had to be scaled back to stay on budget. 

One of the three performance spaces was eliminated and the overall square footage of the remaining spaces was reduced, Keith Myers, vice president of planning, architecture and real estate, said.

“It enabled us to also eliminate some of the support equipment and things that are involved in the theater,” he said. “So it helps us attack the budget in that regard.”

It is set to open by August 2022.

The committee also reviewed designs for a new research complex to be built on West Lane Avenue and Kenny Road. The 41,000-square-foot Controlled Environment Food Production Research Complex will consist of a greenhouse and research and educational space, according to the committee’s agenda.

Graham Cochran, associate dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said the complex will produce food year-round and investigate high-efficiency energy and water-use methods for growing staple crops. 

“We’re talking about an absolutely unique resource,” Bruce McPheron, executive vice president and provost, said. “There is no other university in the world that has the kind of comprehensive capacity that we do to do research and education and has this tie with agriculture.”

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Arts District was to be completed by August 2020. The correct date is August 2022. 

Clarification: Although the net square footage of the two remaining performance spaces decreased, it should be noted that one of the two remaining spaces saw an increase in square footage, while the other saw a decrease.