FMU announces additional $5 million gift from Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation to build Performing Arts Center, unveils athletic complex plans
FLORENCE – It was announced at the Francis Marion University Board of Trustees quarterly meeting today (Feb. 1) that the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation has granted an additional $5 million to the university towards building the FMU Performing Arts Center.
FMU President Dr. Fred Carter said the funds would be added to the $10 million in grant money already awarded by the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation, a $12 million state appropriation and a $3 million contribution from the city of Florence to cover the cost of the facility. Estimates place the project in the $30 million range.
The center will be located on 3.93 acres of land at the corner of Dargan and West Palmetto and used for performances, programs and exhibits. The facility will also include instructional space for use by the university’s fine arts program. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2009, with 2010 as the first full concert year, said Carter.
He also unveiled master plans for the new athletic complex to be located on the west side of campus that would consist of baseball, softball and soccer fields and track and field components. The complex is situated on more than 100 acres of university property.
“This complex will provide superb facilities for the use of residential and commuting students as well as intercollegiate athletics,” Carter said.
Construction will be completed in increments and paid for through two primary sources: bonds and private donations.
The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees approved the naming of the new baseball stadium scheduled to be complete in 2009-10 after longtime supporters of the university, the Sparrow family of Lake City.
The arena will be called the Henry Booker and Nellie Cooke Sparrow Baseball Stadium. It will seat approximately 2,500 fans with a growth potential of accommodating an additional 2,500 and features paved parking for nearly 400 cars.
Trustee members also approved a $25 per semester increase in the student activity fee as well as increasing the housing fees by 5 percent. All fee increases will be effective with the 2008 fall semester.
The student activity fee will go from $72.50 per semester to $97.50 to fund student development activities. As part of this same resolution, there will be an increase in the student activity fee to $122.50 per semester to take effect with the 2009 spring semester.
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