FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) — A major overhaul of the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) could save one local town tens of thousands of dollars and revitalize its downtown.
Crews are working to redo the floors at the DPAC – replacing most of the carpet and all of the seating in the next month. The major renovation coincides with the center’s 10th anniversary.
“Patrons, when they come back in September, should see an all-new facility,” said Todd Tingler, project manager with the City of Durham’s General Services Department.
The city, which owns the DPAC, is giving away most of the more than 2,000 seats.
About 1,000 will go to Jordan High School, some to the state and hundreds more to the arts centers in Carrboro and Fuquay-Varina.
“It’s always a good opportunity for the city to be supportive of the community and the fellow communities around us,” Tingler said.
Fuquay-Varina Mayor John W. Byrne said, “We give things away. We’ve given fire trucks away to underprivileged communities. It’s a thing that communities do to help one another and we were blessed that it came at the right time for Fuquay-Varina.”
Fuquay-Varina is in the process of converting the old Hudson Belk on East Vance Street into an arts center. The 330 seats will go in a brand new addition. If purchased new, the mayor said the seats would cost roughly $500 each, saving the city upwards of $70,000.
“There’s a tremendous savings to the town of Fuquay-Varina and we’ll certainly make sure that savings goes to good use. We might have a fountain out front or do something kind of neat,” Byrne said.
Fuqay-Varina didn’t just get seats from Durham, but they also got a few ideas about how a center like this could impact the downtown.
“Many of those restaurants, those shops are located there because of their performing arts center,” Byrne said.
He said he believes the same could happen in Fuquay-Varina.
“We know that it’s going to happen. We’re doing the planning for it now.”
The town’s new $3.5 million arts center is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018.