Belton: BISD unveils renovated Fine Arts Center

(Belton ISD photo)

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) The latest project funded by Belton ISD tax dollars has finally been revealed to the public.

After Belton High School took over its building on Lake Road, its auditorium remained in use but unchanged for more than 50 years.

Renovating the building made the district’s top priority list after a $149.7 million bond issue proposal passed in May of 2017.

Tuesday morning, after a year-long makeover, the building’s doors were opened, showing off a brand new look.

Updates include renovated electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems, the installation of a new roof, and an updated foyer and restrooms.

The original stage which once hosted fundraising performances and movie showings was refinished and is ready for new talent.

“It’s the first facelift that the auditorium has had since it was originally built in ’66,” said Belton ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon.

“We're just really excited. We anticipate having lots of student programs and assemblies here as well as community events."

The 1,000 original seats in the auditorium were replaced with 875 new ones, making room for the center to become wheelchair-friendly.

Parking spots, a ramp and a lift were also added.

“Due to ADA handicap accessibility laws that are in place now that were not in place in 1966, some chairs were removed to accommodate that as well as some space in the middle for video equipment,” Kincannon said.

A dedication and ribbon cutting were held at the building Tuesday morning.

It will now be called the Pittenger Fine Arts Center in honor of former board president, Randy Pittenger who served in that position for sixteen years.

The ceremony also included the Belton Educational Enrichment Foundation Courtyard,w which was moved from Belton High School to the front of the center.

Personalized commemorative bricks honoring Belton alumni are being sold through the district; dozens have already been installed in the courtyard space.

The renovation project cost around $2.3 million.