By Karen Daniels
Houston Community College-Southwest celebrated the dedication of their new Fine Arts Center of the renovated and repurposed “Old Building B” on March 6. Snacks and desserts were provided as the attendees listened to school musicians perform as part of the ribbon cutting ceremony. 36,000 square feet will be available to students for the study and creation of music, drama, and art.
Thanks abound were given by the Fine Arts Director, John Corley, acting Chancellor, Renee Byas, Trustee Neeta Sane, and Mayor Leonard Scarcella, for everyone’s hard work and dedication to this project which began in 1992. John Corley spoke of the attention to detail and extensive sound proofing that were essential to the design plan.
The building now holds a 75-seat theater with costume and dressing rooms, a 96-seat music recital hall, four music studios, two practice rooms, an electric piano lab, and six art studios for drawing, design, painting, sculpture, metalworking, photography, ceramics and digital art. On display are three Helen Norman paintings as well as other pieces of art in their spacious gallery.
During Mayor Scarcella’s speech he shared the interesting history of the structure and how it came to be. In 1982, these two warehouses belonged to a contractor who went bankrupt. “Old Building A” and “Old Building B” as they were called, were purchased by the City of Stafford. (“Old Building A” has since been demolished). For two years Stafford MSD Elementary classes were held here. In 1985, the buildings were sold to Houston Community College in the hopes of attracting five-hundred students. Today, the Stafford campus is the largest and most populous campus in the HCC system.
The Mayor shared his hopes that the new Fine Arts Center would, “Elevate spirits and inspire a feeling of belonging to the community.” This unique art space is located at 9910 Cash Road.