Activity expected this week on Breckenridge Commons

Jan. 18, 2014 @ 02:13 PM

New design plans are in hand, construction parking has been worked out and the first group of students has ceremonially participated in groundbreaking for McGregor Hall at Breckenridge Commons.

“The kids who participated are second-graders,” said Wester, president of the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation board. “They will be fourth-graders in 2015 when we open up in the spring.

“The Henderson Community Concert Series every year delivers a program to the fourth-graders.”

And they will likely hear the N.C. Symphony, a regular for Vance County’s fourth-graders, when the 1,000-seat performing arts center opens on the corner of Breckenridge and Wyche streets.

About Wednesday of this week, fencing and changes in the parking areas will begin to change. Variety Wholesalers parking will soon shift to what is now the public lot adjacent to Perry Memorial Library on the corner of Winder and Chestnut streets. Library patrons will park on the street and across Breckenridge in the public city lot, accessed from Chestnut Street, in front of the Henderson Police Department.

Construction will soon follow on the site, providing the long-desired one-stop learning center.

McGregor Hall has already undergone changes in design by Szostak, the same firm which produced the Durham Performing Arts Center. But Wester said they’re for efficiency in operation with lower costs.

“We have given up nothing, no compromise on the integrity of seating and have gained on the efficiency of space,” Wester said. “We’re real excited.

“In the very near future, we’ll have a fundraising so the community can buy into the program. That’s a forthcoming issue. We’re just excited to be coming out of the ground, and are so appreciative to the individual private donors who have made this possible.”

The project has a $10 million price tag, of which no city or county taxpayer money is included. Perry Memorial was the first phase at a cost of $12 million.

“In addition to the building expenses, we have an endowment and an endowment for operations and subsidizing programs,” Wester said. “It’ll be $10 million plus our endowment.”

The design changes include reducing from a two-story with balcony inside to a one-story. The building will still have state of the art fly space, akin to the DPAC, and heating and cooling operation.

The 1,000-seat venue will remain capable to a curtain pull to reduce seating and provide a more intimate setting for smaller audiences.


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