HomeColumbiaGrand opening celebration: Lexington School District Two unveils new Performing Arts Center

Grand opening celebration: Lexington School District Two unveils new Performing Arts Center

Columbia, South Carolina (Press release) – Lexington School District Two proudly announces the grand opening of its new 103,400-square-foot Performing Arts Center and district office, located at 3205 Platt Springs Road in West Columbia. The culmination of a decade-long vision, this state-of-the-art facility is now ready to welcome students, educators, and the community at large to experience the transformative power of the arts.

Lexington School District Two proudly announces the grand opening of its new 103,400-square-foot Performing Arts Center and district office
Ribbon cutting and grand opening event held for Performing Arts Center. Courtesy of Lexington School District Two

“The opening of our new Performing Arts Center marks a significant milestone in our district’s commitment to fostering creativity and excellence in education,” said Dr. Brenda Hafner, superintendent of Lexington School District Two. “This incredible venue will serve as a hub for artistic expression, innovation and community engagement for generations to come. The support our communities have for Lexington Two schools is unmatched, and we could not be more grateful for it. That support, along with the board’s vision and work, has made this newest education facility a reality.”

The center’s location is in the heart of the communities the district serves, including Springdale, West Columbia, Pine Ridge, South Congaree and Cayce.

Lexington School District Two proudly announces the grand opening of its new 103,400-square-foot Performing Arts Center and district office
Ribbon cutting and grand opening event held for Performing Arts Center. Courtesy of Lexington School District Two

Performing Arts Center Overview

The Performing Arts Center, occupying 71,800 square feet of the new facility, will serve district students, schools and employees. Its vision encompasses professional development, statewide conferences, community events and cultural gatherings. Lexington Two’s district office, occupying 31,600 square feet of the building, ensures continuous occupancy of the space and also several options for district training and meeting spaces.

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The Performing Arts Center features a two-level balcony accommodating over 1,500 guests, a grand lobby downstairs and an additional lobby on the second floor overlooking the lower lobby. It boasts four meeting and event breakout spaces, including two that hold up to 300 people. The facility also features a full orchestra pit with a lift, a loading dock with easy access to the scene shop and stage, state-of-the-art stage lighting and sound systems, four dressing rooms and one large green room, concession areas, a catering kitchen, two large dividable multipurpose rooms, and 535 total parking spaces, including 17 handicap accessible spaces.

An important benefit of the new center is the opportunity it provides Lexington Two students to perform in a world-class space. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn behind-the-scenes roles and jobs necessary for performances and receive exposure to professionals in the industry.

Lexington School District Two proudly announces the grand opening of its new 103,400-square-foot Performing Arts Center and district office
Ribbon cutting and grand opening event held for Performing Arts Center. Courtesy of Lexington School District Two

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Celebrating the Grand Opening

On Wednesday, May 1, a ribbon cutting was held to mark the opening of the new Performing Arts Center. Later that evening, the district also hosted its Grand Opening Showcase, the center’s inaugural event, which featured performances by more than 400 district students in a variety of disciplines and at all school levels.

“The completion of the Performing Arts Center represents a monumental achievement for Lexington Two, and we were thrilled to bring together our students, teachers, families and community members to celebrate during our grand opening festivities,” said Linda Alford-Wooten, chair of the Lexington School District Two Board of Trustees. “This facility not only enhances our district’s educational offerings but also strengthens our community, providing a venue for cultural enrichment and celebration.”

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Lexington School District Two proudly announces the grand opening of its new 103,400-square-foot Performing Arts Center and district office
Ribbon cutting and grand opening event held for Performing Arts Center. Courtesy of Lexington School District Two

Building a Future for Education

The new Performing Arts Center and district office, a $52 million investment, represents the final phase of a 10-year, $225 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2014. Over the past decade, the district has made capital upgrades across the district and has built Riverbank Elementary School, Cayce Elementary School and the Lexington Two Innovation Center.

The Performing Arts Center was designed by Jumper Carter Sease Architects, a Lexington-based firm specializing in academic facilities. South Carolina-based Thompson Turner Construction served as the general contractor with Productions Unlimited, Inc., headquartered in Spartanburg, leading the design, installation and maintenance of the theatrical equipment.

“As we plan for the district’s future growth, our focus will always be doing what’s best for our students,” Dr. Hafner said.

Lexington School District Two proudly announces the grand opening of its new 103,400-square-foot Performing Arts Center and district office
Ribbon cutting and grand opening event held for Performing Arts Center. Courtesy of Lexington School District Two

Engaging the Community

“The Performing Arts Center is a testament to our commitment to the arts and education,” said Jim LeBlanc, the Performing Arts Center’s executive director. “We’re excited to open our doors and offer opportunities for collaboration, creativity and growth. Whether it’s a student production, professional development workshop or community event, we look forward to serving as a vibrant cultural hub for the community.”

The District Art Show, featuring works across all schools and grade levels, will be on exhibit weekdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. from May 2-15 in the atrium of the Performing Arts Center. This free event is an opportunity for the public to drop in and see the center.

Over the summer, Lexington Two will provide opportunities for public tours, as well as use the space for district-wide staff, student and teacher training and meeting spaces. The district will present its inaugural Fine Art Summer Camp June 3-13 for Lexington Two students.

The unveiling of the inaugural members of the Lexington Two Fine Arts Hall of Fame will be held in coming months. The Hall of Fame will recognize individuals and groups who have demonstrated excellence in art, music, theatre, dance or creative writing. Inductees will include alumni of Airport High School or Brookland Cayce High School, Lexington Two educators, and community members who have contributed significantly to the advancement of fine arts in Lexington Two.

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In addition to being used for the district, the Performing Arts Center will be available for event rentals. For rental inquiries, please email jleblanc@lex2.org or lrobbie@lex2.org. Stay up-to-date on the Performing Arts Center’s events and public opportunities at https://www.lex2.org/.

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