Council Report: City helps TCU prepare for new School of Music

TCU School of Music 

The Fort Worth City Council, at its Jan. 9 meeting, helped Texas Christian University move a step closer to the reality of a new building for its School of Music.

At the request of surveyors J.B. Davies, Inc. (on behalf of TCU), the council approved the replatting of some property to be connected with the new facility, which is expected to break ground in May. These include an alley between South University Drive and Greene Avenue, along with portions of Princeton Street, Greene Avenue, West Lowden Street.

In short, the property is being vacated to make room.

The music building is estimated to cost about $53 million, with TCU funding about half and donations expected to fund the rest. It is expected to open in the fall of 2020.

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“The new School of Music building will be of tremendous value for the School of Music and the College of Fine Arts at TCU. Our mission is to educate the next generation of artists, and to do so we want to attract the most talented young musicians to come study with us,” said Anne Helmreich, dean of TCU’s College of Fine Arts.

“The new performance and rehearsal spaces will provide a state-of-the-art and innovative learning environment for these students. In addition, it will create much needed space. With TCU’s increasing national visibility and the stellar quality of our music faculty, our music programs are growing year by year.”

Helmreich noted, for example, that the TCU marching band has doubled in size.

The new building and land is within District 9, represented by Councilwoman Ann Zadeh. She is excited about the new facility after having first-hand experience with the current facilities.

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“My kids took music at TCU in the basement at the corner of Cantey and University,” she said. “I know their music facilities have been limited”

Helmreich also said the new concert hall will be an important asset for the community. Set in an inviting green landscape, it will be home for the more than 300 musical events each year hosted by the School of Music, most of which are open to the public and many of which are free.

“TCU recognizes the importance of making the arts accessible to our community, as well as the economic value the arts bring to Fort Worth,” she said, citing a recent study issued by the Arts Council of Fort Worth in partnership with Americans for the Arts.

The City Plan Commission recommended approval of this request at its meetings on Feb. 24, 2016, and again last September. An acceptable final plat has now been received.

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The city does not own any fee interest in the rights-of-way or own any property adjacent to the rights-of-way and did not spend any city funds to buy the rights-of-way easements.