The IUP Performing Arts Center
In mid-September, the university celebrated the opening of the IUP Performing Arts Center with a ceremony and musical performances.
The $12-million project took two years to complete and brought together Fisher and Waller halls with a 20,000-square-foot addition. Included are a dramatic, two-story grand lobby, ticket office, concession/merchandise stand, lounge areas, and an art gallery in the Fisher balcony area (formerly accessible only by stairways).
With renovation, Fisher Auditorium now has 1,460 seats, down from 1,600, but affording audience members increased legroom and comfort. For the first time, the entire facility is air conditioned, and a new sound system was added at a cost of $300,000. The whole IUP Performing Arts Center is accessible by wheelchair, but those on foot in icy weather will be grateful for the addition of heat to Waller Hall’s granite steps.
What Fine Arts Director of Public Events Hank Knerr calls “a million-dollar view” is available from the second-floor balcony of the IUP Performing Arts Center addition. The Art Deco embellishments echo decorative features incorporated in Fisher Auditorium during its construction in the late thirties. Bob Chesarek, the man on the balcony, works for Gateway Kitchens and did much of the steel trim work.