UD’s first performing arts center to open in 2023

Plans for Roger Glass Center for the Arts were announced Friday by the university. Photo courtesy of Meagan Pant.

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Zoë Hill | News Editor

The University of Dayton announced Friday its plan to build its first visual and performing arts center.

The Roger Glass Center for the Arts, named for the president and chief executive officer of Marion’s Pizza and UD class of 1967 alum Roger Glass, will be built on the corner of Main Street and Stewart Street. The building will house spaces for theater, music, performance technology, and visual arts students to learn and create, according to UD. 

A 400-seat concert hall, an art gallery and a 150-seat theater and dance venue will showcase the talents and creations of UD’s performing and visual arts students.

Flyer Media will find a new home within the Roger Glass Center. The building plan includes a “custom-built experiential learning space” for Flyer News, FlyerTV and Flyer Radio, which are all currently housed in Kennedy Union. 

The announcement of the Roger Glass Center for the Arts was made during UD’s Donor Appreciation Week. The $45 million project is funded by 120 donors, including Glass, who graduated from the university with a bachelor’s in communication. 

President Spina (far right) digging next to Glass at the site for the new building.

“This is an opportunity for all of the arts at UD to come together and have an amazing place to display their talents,” Glass said. “Not only the university but the community will be able to ​​take advantage of the center for the arts.” 

Martha M. Walter, who donated in 2002 for a future arts center, faculty and staff all contributed to the funding and made the project possible, the university said. 

The 51,000-square-foot building will be built on the field on Main Street previously owned by NCR. This spot sits at the very front corner of campus, making it the “gateway building to campus,” said Jason Pierce, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. It is designed to have two front doors– one facing the campus and one facing Dayton– to connect the community to the city. 

Construction is expected to begin immediately and is tentatively expected to be ready for the 2023-24 school year. The Roger Glass Center for the Arts will match the style of many of the surrounding arts venues and will meet LEED-gold environmental standards. 

The university expects the new facility to attract new students to the arts programs and help grow the programs at UD. Highly-demanded spaces for experiential learning will be a highlight for potential and current students, UD said. 

“The arts have really grown here, and the students need a facility like this,” President Eric Spina said. “It’s a gift to our students, to the university, and to the community, and we thank Roger for his generosity in making this facility possible.”

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