On Wednesday, August 16th a ground breaking ceremony was held for the new Music Hall coming to the Von Braun Center campus. The new music hall is part of a 44 million dollar project that will also include a new ballroom and other upgrades to existing facilities. The new Music Hall is expected to be finished in the Fall of 2019.
Despite being a $44 million dollar project, the funds will not come from local taxpayers. The new Music Hall will be $9 million while the new Ballroom will be $35 million of the project. The majority of the cost will come from the recently enacted increase in lodging taxes and surcharges. One of the main reasons for the new venues is due to supply and demand; many people want to host events at the VBC but there just isn't enough space to host them all.
The new construction project will include a new Music Hall at the corner of Monroe Street and Clinton Avenue. The Music Hall will be completed first and hold 1,200 people with primarily standing-room attendance. There will also be a balcony for VIP seating. The venue will have a permanent stage, lighting, and sound systems for the artists to use. A rooftop bar and restaurant will be open seven days a week.
The Ballroom will be 35,000 square feet and will be used for convention space and other activities. The consulting group recommended the Ballroom as a more efficient option than a complete overhaul of the current facility.
- A west facing façade on the ballroom will provide a more attractive "welcome" to the complex.
- A 300-space subterranean parking garage will be built under the Ballroom and connect to the current lot under South Hall
- A new kitchen will be built to replace the current one. Food services at the VBC bring in $5-$6 million annually
- $3 million will go towards renovations and upgrades to the North Hall