In Wednesday’s (9/16) Orlando Sentinel (Florida), Elizabeth Maupin writes, “Backers of Orlando’s performing-arts center now plan to build it in phases, breaking ground on the largest and smallest of the three planned halls in March and delaying construction of the midsize concert hall until the economy improves. Plans are for the first phase of the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center—expected to cost $260 million to $330 million, depending on how much is built—to be done in late 2013. Organizers say the project’s survival depends on the momentum they hope to create by putting shovel to dirt. … As a result of the change, the Walt Disney Co. has asked that its name not be put on the 1,700-seat concert hall, as it originally planned, but on the 2,800-seat, Broadway-style theater. The company gave $12.5 million toward the effort. … DPAC president Kathy Ramsberger said the best plan is to build the 2,700- and 300-seat theaters first—largely because that’s what DPAC can afford to do now. The 1,700-seat concert hall, planned to house symphony orchestras, opera and dance, is a much more complicated and expensive design than the larger theater.” The performing arts center will host concerts by the Orlando Philharmonic and touring orchestras.

Posted September 17, 2009