SILVER SPRING, MD-Development of the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus of Montgomery College has been cleared. The Montgomery County Planning Board has given its final approval of the project.

The 625-seat performance venue is part of the college’s multiphase expansion plan that, according to the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Community College Facilities Grant Program Analysis of the FY 2007 Maryland Executive Budget, carries a total price tag of about $104 million. The Cultural Arts Center alone will cost a reported $27 million to complete.

Located at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and East-West Highway, the Cultural Arts Center–which will be open to both the school and the community–will extend the college’s presence along the Georgia Avenue corridor. Designed by the architectural and engineering firm Smith Group, the 58,000-sf structure will feature a 500-seat auditorium, a 125-seat theater, dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, exhibition space, office space, a meeting room and a catering kitchen.

Work is scheduled to get under way on the project between the fall and winter of this year. The center is on target to open its doors for performances sometime in 2008.

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