Repairs are in full swing inside Missouri Southern State University’s Taylor Performing Arts Center (TPAC).

The Missouri House and Senate approved House Bill 19 last year – a capital projects bill that will provide funds for the structural repair and reopening of the center.

The bill provided a one-time $2.5 million appropriation to remediate the structural issues and make the facility usable again for academic and community programs.

Named in honor of former State Rep. Thomas Taylor of Carthage, the center was built in 1975. The 53,000-square-foot facility can seat more than 2,000 people, making it the largest performing arts venue in Southwest Missouri.

The center has been closed since July 2019. Needed repairs include addressing structural issues on the main stage; structural challenges on the stairwells that prevent the use of the balcony seating area; and replacement of the rigging system, main stage and mid-house divider curtains that are all original to the 1975 construction.

In the fall of 2020, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, which reviews capital improvement requests from colleges and universities across Missouri, included the TPAC project among the top 10 priority projects for the 2021 legislative session.

Dr. Dean Van Galen, president of Missouri Southern, testified before the House Budget Subcommittee on Education and stressed the need for the repairs to TPAC. The repairs are underway and expected to be completed later this year.