First Look at Noorda Performing Arts Center

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For years, the performing arts majors at UVU have performed, worked and rehearsed in any space they could find in the crowded Gunther Technology building. Actors pushed aside desks in empty classrooms to rehearse scenes, dancers gave performances in small studio spaces and musicians had to load their instruments onto a truck and transport them across campus from the Gunther Technology building to the Ragan Theater and back again after concerts.

Now, with the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts nearing 95 percent completion, those days will soon be behind UVU’s performing arts faculty and students.

On Oct.18, the Assistant Dean of the School of the Arts, Linda Moore, led members of the UVU Review on a tour of the new $60 million building, which began construction in 2016. The new building holds five performance spaces, thirty-two practice rooms, two dance studios, a full recording studio with isolation booths, faculty offices and several reception halls. Most areas will be used in multiple ways.

“Every room has at least two purposes,”said Moore. “Some even have three or more. When you’re in the arts, a room has to be whatever you need it to be.”

One such space is a dressing room, which will also serve as a makeup classroom. Previously, the makeup instructor would stand in a hallway in the GT building and shout instructions in between classrooms.

The new Smith Theatre is a performing space featuring a proscenium stage and anorchestra pit that seats 502 people. The back row in the balcony is only 60 feet away from the stage, so there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

The other major performing space is the concert hall, which will be the Utah County home of the Utah Symphony. It seats 892 people and features a choir loft. Musicians will be able to roll their instruments from across the hall in the ensemble rehearsal room to the stage, making set up before concerts much easier.

“Students come from all over the country for UVU’s incredible arts programs,”said Moore. “And now they will have a building that will help them learn even better than before.”

The ribbon cutting for the new building is scheduled for March 26, 2019.

For previous Review coverage of this issue:

UVU raises $15.4 million for new performing and visual arts building