VC to celebrate history of auditorium before demolition

After 45 years, Victoria College has decided to demolish the VC Fine Arts Auditorium and turn the space into an outdoor performance area.

To commemorate the auditorium’s history, VC will reminisce about the good ‘ol days with an “If Walls Could Talk” event. The event will take place on Thursday, August 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the VC Fine Arts Auditorium.

Visitors will enjoy slide shows and posters featuring the building’s history and get a first look at detailed plans for the renovation and expansion project. Commemorative bricks available for purchase from the auditorium will also be showcased at the event. Additionally, two auditorium seats will be available to purchase during a silent auction. Proceeds from the sale of commemorative items will go to benefit the VC fine arts program.

The auditorium gallery will also exhibit its last art show, “Big Works in Clay,” featuring artwork created by VC students in this summer’s ceramics workshop. Also on exhibit will be tall collaborative works and several totem towers, with two of the towers available for bid in a silent auction with proceeds going to fund new equipment for the ceramics program.

“We’ve planned this event to give VC students, faculty, staff and members of the community the opportunity to take one last walk through the auditorium prior to its demolition,” said VC Development Director Cara Frederick.

The auditorium, completed in August 1966, is scheduled for demolition this September.

“Over the years, the auditorium has deteriorated and its usefulness has been superseded by new state-of-the-art venues at VISD and the Welder Center,” said Larry Garrett, executive director of institutional planning and special projects at VC. “Demolition of the auditorium will make way for expansion of instructional spaces for fine arts.”

Countless commencement ceremonies, concerts, productions, art shows and community events have taken place at the auditorium. Renowned guests who have visited the auditorium have included opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, former poet laureate Maya Angelou, NASA astronaut James Lovell, longtime news correspondent Edwin Newman, actor Charlton Heston, and most recently, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert.

Following the auditorium’s demolition, construction of a 5,000-square-foot addition on the east side of the existing building will begin. This addition will house a new band hall and art gallery. Additionally, a 1,500-square-foot kiln patio and work yard will also be added to the north side of the ceramics studio.

Some of the space will be converted into an outdoor performance area. In the future, the College may also explore construction of a performance hall tailored to the needs of VC and of the community.

After the new construction is completed, VC will begin work on renovations to over 6,000 square feet of the remaining building. The current band hall will be converted into a large choir room and the current choir room will be converted into a piano classroom. Additionally, the practice rooms, restrooms and some office areas will be completely renovated, along with replacement of most of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

“This is going to be a big change on the VC campus, but one that I think will really be of benefit to the students,” said Butler. “In the meantime, this event will give us all a chance to relive some history and let this building bring us together as a community one last time.”

If You Go:

What: “If Walls Could Talk” Community Event

Where: VC Fine Arts Auditorium, 2200 E. Red River St.

When: Thursday, August 18, 6 – 8 p.m.

Free and open to the public

Boxed Information:

A limited number of commemorative bricks taken directly from the auditorium are available to purchase for $25. Those wishing to purchase a brick need to pre-order now. After demolition, commemorative bricks will come with a brass plaque mounted on it and engraved with “Victoria College, Fine Arts Auditorium, 1966 – 2011.”

For more information about purchasing a commemorative brick, please contact Cara Frederick at 361-582-2419 or via email at

Published: Friday, 12 August 2011

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