TAYLORSVILLE — Utah business and government leaders recently got a small taste of what will soon become a spectacular theater hub for Salt Lake County’s growing ensemble of aspiring performers and expectant audiences.
Economic development officials, performing arts experts, and city and business figures from around the state were treated to (socially distanced) tours of the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center construction site on June 25 as part of Taylorsville City’s second annual Summer Summit. What they saw was a nearly completed venue that has been designed and built to reflect its anticipated status as a cultural crown jewel of Taylorsville and the theater community in the Salt Lake Valley.
“The Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center will be a great addition to Taylorsville and surrounding communities,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which toured the site. “This facility will further enhance Utah’s arts and culture community. We are excited to see this beautiful facility once it’s completed and ready to open its doors.”
The 72,000 square-foot Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center is being built to handle increasing demand for high-quality performing arts productions in the fast-growing middle and southwest Salt Lake Valley. It will have a 440-seat proscenium theater with an orchestra pit, a 200-seat studio theater and ample rehearsal space. The construction project is expected to finish this fall.
“There is a strong demand in our community for high-quality performing arts space. This venue will enrich people’s quality of life for many decades to come,” said Doug Carley, Jacobsen Construction’s project manager overseeing the work at the site.
Performers will have access to a host of services offered by Salt Lake County’s Arts & Culture Division and their professional theater staff — including ticket and event management, as well as technical support.
“The Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center is already an important regional asset and it’s not even open yet. This highly anticipated venue has strong support from arts organizations and the surrounding community,” said Salt Lake County Community Services Department Director Holly Yocom. “The project team, from the beginning, has shown its commitment to create a beautiful building and a top-notch performance facility.”
Reactions to the tour
Yocom said she was blown away by what she saw during the jobsite tour.
“Walking through the construction site was a thrill! It is exciting to see the beautiful façade taking shape and the performing areas coming together,” she said. “You find yourself picturing performances in each space and the excitement just keeps building. I am impressed with the quality of the design and the workmanship. This project has been in the works for about eight years, so to see a physical structure rising up from the ground is fantastic.”
Wayne Harper, economic and community development director for Taylorsville, agreed that seeing the construction site up close is an extraordinary experience that reinforces the quality and importance of the venue being built.
“Each time I visit (it), I am impressed with the quality of the work and the vision for the future. It will be a beautiful asset and landmark for the city and for the county,” Harper said. “I am grateful for the dedicated construction team and for the partnership with the county on this facility and on the arts.”
Reflecting a community’s love for the arts
Public art will adorn the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center and complete its community-focused aesthetic.
“The public art pieces that are part of this building are quite striking. They will add to the beauty of the glass façade and planned landscaping and will make it a destination venue,” Yocom said. “The performances will bring people in and the beautiful setting will bring them back.”
A love of theater runs deep in Taylorsville, Harper said, and the new venue will be both a monument to, and hub for, that aspect of the local culture.
“The arts are an important element of Taylorsville’s heritage,” Harper said. “The city’s performing arts groups and the Taylorsville Art’s Council routinely entertain the community at a variety of locations throughout the city. Having a home for them and other performers and performing groups will enhance their membership, outreach and future.”