Meet UCCS' Ent Center for the Arts

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Here's the latest rendering for the forthcoming visual and performing arts complex to break ground this August at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs:

COURTESY UCCS
  • Courtesy UCCS

The $60 million project is scheduled to open January 2018, and will be called the Ent Center for the Arts, per an agreement between UCCS and Ent Federal Credit Union. The 15-year deal, building on an earlier partnership linking the two entities, will allow Ent to build a free-standing service center at the corner of Austin Bluffs Parkway and North Nevada Avenue.

Ent's name, by the way, comes from Major General Uzal Girard Ent, commander of the Ninth Air Force during World War II. Major General Ent also oversaw what became Ent Air Force Base, which operated where the U.S. Olympic Training Center now stands.

Here's the full release:

UCCS, Ent Federal Credit Union extend agreement; new arts venue named

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Ent Federal Credit Union will sign a 15-year marketing and operating agreement during a 3 p.m. March 31 ceremony at the University Center, room 116 on the UCCS campus.

UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak and Ent CEO Randy Bernstein will officially sign documents that name the soon to be constructed UCCS visual and performing arts venue the Ent Center for the Arts. As part of the agreement, Ent will receive the right to construct a free-standing service center at the corner of Austin Bluffs Parkway and North Nevada Ave.

This agreement extends for an additional 15 years the current Ent/UCCS partnership where students, faculty, and staff have the option of having an Ent checking account and debit card as part of their university photo identification. The original Ent/UCCS Lion OneCard agreement began in 2006. This 15-year extension agreement is valued at $12.6 million.

"We are pleased to extend our partnership with Ent Federal Credit Union," Shockley-Zalabak said. "Together, as community leaders, we will take arts in our community to new levels and continue the revitalization of North Nevada Avenue and our regional economy."

“We recognize the key role UCCS plays in our community – both as an educator of tomorrow’s leaders and as a growth engine for our local economy,” Bernstein said. “This extension of the Ent/UCCS partnership allows Ent to continue providing high-quality financial services to UCCS students, faculty and staff, support the continued growth of the University and provide added service center convenience to our membership.”

Groundbreaking for the arts complex estimated at $60 million in total costs is scheduled for August with opening scheduled for Jan. 2018. The venue site is located on the west side of the UCCS campus on North Nevada Avenue across from University Village Colorado shopping center.

Design of the Ent Center for the Arts is led by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, New York, with Semple Brown Design, Denver, serving as the architect of record. The venue will be designed to encourage and support working relationships with community cultural organizations and to provide direct public access to performances, exhibits, and classes.

The Ent Center for the Arts will include a 750-seat main theater, a 250-seat recital hall, the university's 250-seat Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theatre, home to the UCCS resident theater company, Theatreworks, the Osborne Theater, to be used by the theater and dance program, and the Gallery of Contemporary Art Education.

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