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The Scoop

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File / The Journal Gazette

Saint Francis closes on Scottish Rite, renames building

Statement issued Wednesday:

Jan. 25, 2012 FORT WAYNE, Ind.— The University of Saint Francis purchase of the Scottish Rite Center closed today, with the university taking possession of the facility under the new name of the USF Performing Arts Center.

The university announced its intention to purchase the Scottish Rite Center at 431 W. Berry St. in Fort Wayne on Nov. 10 as a location for a new Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts (META) program and as a facility for use by the public for events, entertainment and meetings.

With the purchase of the multi-use facility, the university will create a media production complex to educate students in the arts disciplines and prepare them to create professional business enterprises upon graduation. The 82,672 square-foot building holds a 2,018-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, ballroom, offices and lounges that adapt well to its reuse as an arts and media technology center, university officials said.

As the new USF Performing Arts Center, the facility and its ornate theater, ballroom and extensive meeting rooms are also available for bookings through the university’s Director of Facilities and Events Nancy Money, who can be reached at 260-399-7700, ext. 6107 or nmoney@sf.edu. Visit usfpac.com for more information on facilities and scheduling procedures.

Plans call for the multimedia center to serve as the main facility for several of the university’s existing media arts programs and as a home for newly developed ones. Under consideration are centers for instructional multimedia performance, documentary photography, entrepreneurial education, theater and arts administration and two- and three-dimensional media production, among other professional concentrations. In the public arena, the theater can be reserved for plays and recitals, the ballroom for wedding and other special event receptions and its meeting rooms for community and business events.

City and county officials hailed the purchase as a shot in the arm for the revitalization of the downtown area and for economic development in the region through the establishment of a creative, collaborative downtown center to foster business and create growth while preserving a historical building with facilities open for public enjoyment.

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.

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