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DETROIT-A $60-million expansion to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s main hall will proceed without the planned adjacent High School for the Fine and Performing Arts.

DSO spokesperson Jill Woodward says plans for the expansion are being refined, and the target completion date is set for 2003.The expansion will be about 134,000 sf, including a 550-seat recital hall, a smaller hall for rehearsal and dance, dressing rooms, a library, an atrium lobby and 16,000 sf of offices.

The high school was a $35 million project, supposed to be built in conjunction with the expansion to the Orchestra Hall. A ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony was held last year. However, the takeover of the Detroit Public Schools by the City of Detroit and the foot-dragging over the establishment of a new Detroit School Board has put the project on hold.

“We’re still hoping the school will be built next door,” says Woodward.Early plans had called for the expansion and the school to be combined, for the school to include an 800-seat auditorium that would also be used by the DSO. This plan was scrapped early, Woodward says, because of ownership conflicts.

A.J. Diamond, Donald Schmitt and Co. of Toronto are the principal architects for the hall expansion.The DSO has held a campaign to raise $125 million for the expansion, and are only $25 million short of that goal. The leftover money after the construction will be used to pay off debts and create an endowment fund.

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