Boise State University will break ground May 2 on the fine arts building along Capitol Boulevard.
The five-story, 97,222-square-foot structure will serve as the new, consolidated home for an art department that is now scattered among seven buildings on campus, said Tony Roark, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Boise State has been planning a fine arts building since 2012. Originally, construction was predicted to start in March 2014. The building has been entirely redesigned since then with input from a community group, Roark said.
In that time, the university also put together the $42 million needed for what college President Bob Kustra is calling the Boise State Center for Fine Arts. Roark said no official name has been determined, and naming rights are still a possibility for a $20 million donation.
The building will replace a surface parking lot between the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts and the Micron Business & Economics Building.
ESI Construction of Meridian is the general contractor. Completion is expected for fall 2019, Roark said.
LCA Architects of Boise designed two contrasting buildings veering away from each other but joined by a glass lobby LCA is describing as a “jewel case,” Roark said.
A five-story curving beige, limestone-clad structure will serve as studio space and offices, while a blue stained steel shingle structure will house galleries and classrooms. Roark describes the gallery/classroom building as a ship’s prow as it juts toward Capitol Boulevard.
“I think it’s about inspiration and interrogation,” Roark said. “We like that this design is provocative. It’s certainly not universally loved. It causes you to stop and wonder what it’s about. That interrogation is part of what we’re doing here.”
The Department of Art includes art metals, ceramics, drawing and painting, graphic design, history of art and visual culture, illustration, interdisciplinary art, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
The fine arts building will be built in part with $5 million from the state permanent building fund and $5 million in private philanthropic funds. Bonding and other university funds could cover the rest.
“The CFO’s choice of that will determine the final composition of the remaining $32 million,” Roark said.