COLUMBUS, GA-The $67-million, 245,000-sf RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in Downtown Columbus opens its doors in November to Columbus State University’s Schwob Department of Music.

The complex is part of 500,000 sf of space dedicated to the arts in this river city of 200,000 residents. RiverCenter resulted from a 1993 effort to improve the city’s Downtown tourism development. Columbus is 100 miles south of Downtown Atlanta.

Scheduled to occupy RiverCenter next year are the 150-seat Studio Theatre, the 450-seat Legacy Hall and the 2,000-seat Heard Theatre, home of the Columbus Symphony.

Columbus raised more than $100 million, largely in local funds, to improve the city’s tourism image. The state provided $17 million in bond allocations. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources owns the new facility.

Across the street, the Rankin Building, a hotel built in the 1800s, is being renovated for Columbus State University student housing, continuing education programs and retail on the first floor.

Beers Construction of Atlanta is building RiverCenter. The design team includes firms from Columbus, Los Angeles and New York.

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