Danville Community College is working to bring a dedicated fine arts and music building to downtown, DCC President Bruce Scism said at the college board meeting Monday.
“I think it could be tremendous asset to this community and this college,” Scism said.
Scism is leading the project with Averett University President Tiffany Franks. Selecting a location in the River District, the space would include a black box theater, a gallery, additional class space and a coffee shop.
Scism said the facility would include opportunities and space for artists-in-residence. Working with a developer, Scism said grant funding would help pay for some of the space, and the building would be constructed with sustainability in mind.
Scism said local interest in the arts and music at DCC was always high, but the school simply did not have the facilities to house a local program.
DCC board member and Danville Regional Foundation board member Chris Eastwood voiced his support for the space, saying it could unite a fragmented local arts scene.
Scism said the project was on a fairly short timetable.
“Our goal is to be able to offer something in the fall of 2017,” Scism said.
Board members also received an update of the renovations to the engineering and industrial technology and welding buildings from business manager Lisa Johnson.
“The funding for the welding and the EIT projects has been allocated,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the contractor is set to begin work on the projects and was bringing equipment on campus Monday. She said renovations should be complete in 10 months for the welding building and a year for the EIT building.
Board members also approved new programs and degrees including Associate of Fine Arts, venture creation and management, culinary arts, beer brewing, guitar building and unmanned aerial systems.
Scism said the brewing program is modeled after programs in North Carolina where dozens of small and large microbreweries have located, especially in Asheville. Scism said the program would be one of just two in Virginia.
Board members also finalized a timeline for the evaluation process for Scism, who has been president since 2013. Scism will send his evaluation goals to the committee in March, and the evaluation will be completed and mailed to the Virginia Community College System president by the end of the month.