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E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation awards grant for new performing arts center

On July 24, UMHB announced that the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation has awarded the university a grant of $200,000 toward the construction of a new performing arts center. The gift joins a 2014 grant of $100,000, bringing the foundation’s total support for the project to $300,000.
“The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation has has made many grants through the years to organizations in the Temple/Belton area, which have benefited people throughout our community,” said Dr. Randy O’Rear. “That tradition continues with this new gift, which will help provide a wonderful new venue for musical and theatrical performances on the UMHB campus. We are grateful for their support.”
Plans call for the new performing arts center to be built near the entrance to the UMHB campus, on the corner of Main Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Belton. The design calls for ingenious use of multifunctional rooms so the center can be used as a teaching facility throughout the week as well as a venue for special musical and theatrical performances. The $20 million center will include a theater with a proscenium stage and a performance lab that can be used as a black box theater, a classroom, or a room for social gatherings. On October 9, university trustees voted to begin construction of the facility in January 2016 with the demolition of Huckins Apartments, which stand on the corner where the PAC will be built.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation was established in 1975 by E. Rhodes Carpenter, founder of the Carpenter Company. The foundation offers grants to public charities and non-profit organizations in communities such as Temple, where Carpenter Company has had manufacturing facilities for many years. Over the last 15 years, the foundation has given UMHB grants totaling more than $675,000, primarily in support of music education programs that the school offers to young people in Temple, Belton, and surrounding communities.