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City of Frisco, Frisco ISD 'move in different directions' over construction of performing arts facility

The city said the partners were "prevented from moving forward as a collective group" due to each partner's "unique priorities."

FRISCO, Texas — After much discussion about bringing a performing arts center to the city of Frisco, the prospective partnership between the city, Frisco ISD and Hall Park is no more. 

The city said on Thursday the groups were moving "in different directions in their pursuit to develop two separate performing arts facilities." 

The effort to bring a performing arts center to Frisco has been more than a decade in the making. On June 1, 2021, the Frisco City Council unanimously approved terms that could bring a center to Hall Park.

More than $100 million in private, city and school district funds were in play, including a bond-approved $43 million from Frisco ISD. The total budgeted cost of the performing arts center, garage and park project was $130 million. 

The city said the partners were "prevented from moving forward as a collective group" due to each partner's "unique priorities."

Frisco ISD will continue to build a performing arts center with a "student-first focus" on land already owned by the district, the city said in a news release. 

“We are thankful for the support and vision from the City of Frisco and Craig Hall throughout this partnership exploration,” said René Archambault, Frisco ISD School board president.  “We share the same goal of an expanded and thriving arts community in Frisco, and we look forward to helping shape that future through increased opportunities for young people in the fine arts. The community’s investment in arts education will ripple throughout our community for generations.”

The city said it will continue with its partnership with Hall Group to explore "the construction of a world-class, community-centric and commercially viable performing arts center." 

“Frisco has had an impressive track record of successful public-private partnerships, and while this particular partnership has changed course, we are still actively supporting the City of Frisco’s development of a programmed community park that will include many exciting art elements and we look forward to having more opportunities to work with these parties again in the future,” said Craig Hall, founder and chairman of Hall Group. 

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said the district remains a valued partner despite the change in direction.

"We learned so much about the state of ‘the arts’ in our community. From the needs of our various arts and community groups to the dream of bringing Broadway to Frisco, the demand for arts has never been higher," said Cheney. "As a result, I’m more confident than ever Frisco can support a premier performing arts facility benefiting the entire region."

At the start of the project, partners hoped the finished product would be ready in 2024. 

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