The University of Central Arkansas celebrated a milestone event Thursday with the topping-out ceremony for the Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts.
The university broke ground on the Windgate Center in October. Made possible by a $20 million gift from the Windgate Foundation, it will provide almost 100,000 square feet of much-needed classroom, studio, rehearsal and design spaces. The open-concept arts center will include a creative quad and sculpture garden, a first-class art gallery, a 175-seat black box theater equipped with state-of-the art technology, and a 450-seat concert hall which will be the only one-room, open-concept venue in central Arkansas.
“This cutting-edge facility will foster partnerships and interdisciplinary collaboration across multiple academic disciplines, fuel the state’s creative economy and draw in arts enthusiasts from across the region to Conway and to UCA,” said President Houston Davis.
The topping out event is part of the university’s $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, UCA Now: Impact Arkansas and Beyond. The campaign began its quiet phase in June 2016 and will conclude in July 2024.
The topping-out ceremony dates back to Scandinavian or Viking tradition to mark a milestone in construction. An evergreen tree is placed at the topmost part of the framework or skeleton of a building to commemorate the successful construction of the building.