aca_space.jpgIf your daily transit doesn’t take you along East Vermilion Street downtown and in front of the Acadiana Center for the Arts, you may have missed a startling transformation over the last few days as a multi-million dollar expansion to the AcA rapidly takes shape.

Massive pre-fabricated concrete slabs forming the walls of what will become a performing arts space are being trucked in and hoisted into place with a 100-foot crane. Seven slabs rising about 12 feet higher than the adjacent arts center are in place, forming the back wall of the space. The $15 million project, being paid for by state funding, began in April with the demolition of the old LBA Savings Bank drive-thru. Once completed, the 300-seat theatre will feature all the amenities of a world-class performance space, including high-definition audio/visual systems, a flexible floor plan to accommodate myriad types of performance art, studio-quality “silent” air conditioning and a design meant to maximize acoustics.

The Acadiana Arts Council manages the city-owned AcA and oversees dozens of annual exhibitions and performances there. The AAC, like more than two-dozen other arts/cultural and social service non-profits, will find out July 21 whether Lafayette Consolidated Government will phase out public funding when the council votes on an ordinance to do just that.

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