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PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA-Prince William County and George Mason University have joined forces to bring a new cultural venue on the university’s 124-acre satellite campus within the [email protected] William research park. The two entities will build a new 1,100-seat performing arts center on the university’s campus right on the outskirts of the City of Manassas.

Development costs for what will be a 99,000-sf structure are expected to reach $56 million. They will be split among public and private entities with the county covering 60% of the costs, and GMU and the City of Manassas taking on 30% and 10%, respectively.

In addition to its vast performance hall, the four-story arts center will also provide room for a two-story rehearsal space, dressing rooms, practice studios and a wardrobe shop. The state-of-the-art facility is expected to draw well-known artists and performing arts groups. It will be a permanent home to such local entities as the Prince William Symphony Orchestra, but it will also be available for business, community and local school activity use.

“We are a growing county and one of the things our citizens are looking for is more cultural opportunities,” Jason Grant, Prince William County Department of Economic Development communications manager, tells GlobeSt.com. “From an economic standpoint, it will be a world-class facility and it will be an attraction for new businesses, as well as a tourist attraction. It will improve the quality of life.” If funding falls into place as planned, work on the project could begin in 2007, with a scheduled opening date to accommodate the 2009 fall season.

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