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At the July 24, 2018 meeting, the Coppell City Council unanimously voted to include additional seating at the Coppell Arts Center.
In order to attract a wider range of shows and performances, the City Council decided that it would be necessary to increase the number of seats in the Main Theater to 441. The original plans included only 315 seats.
"As we went through the business plan process, we learned that there is a distinction between a local theater, a regional theater and a national theater," said Mike Land, City Manager. "The magic number for attracting those larger, regional shows is 440 seats. We want to ensure that the theater is viable into the future. The Black Box, or Flex, Theater will be primarily be used by our local arts groups, and the additional seats in the Main Stage Theater will not impact our local performers. This simply presents a lot of opportunity to bring in other shows."
"One of our former Councilmembers told me that we don't want to limit ourselves for the future because we don't know where we're going. That was probably the most insightful comment that I ever heard," said Councilmember Wes Mays. "I think we need to be careful that we don't underestimate ourselves here. As the theater was originally designed, it will be functional for our needs, but as we move forward, I think we would be limiting our potential if we don't do an expansion. I'm usually not the one to go for spending more, but, in this case, I think it's worthwhile."
The Arts Center will be approximately 32,250square feet, and it will include a Flexible Theater, a Main Stage Theater, a multipurpose room that expands the facility's use beyond just the arts, exhibit, classroom and office space and a courtyard plaza. Construction is estimated to be completed by early 2020.
The City Council approved the construction of the Arts Center, priced at approximately $17 million, at the June 12, 2018 meeting. The project will be primarily funded by the Coppell Recreation and Development Corporation (CRDC), a sales tax revenue fund that was established to undertake projects for youth and adult amateur athletics, entertainment and public gathering facilities, exhibition and museum facilities, parks and recreational facilities and more. Coppell voters re-authorized the CRDC's use of sales tax revenue in the November 5, 2013 election.
For more information about the Arts Center project, visit coppelltx.gov/artscenter.