News & Updates

While Brown has long envisioned an on-campus center for the performing arts, planning began in earnest in the 2016-17 academic year in conjunction with the launch of the Brown Arts Initiative. The target completion date for the new PAC is late 2022. Major milestones and status updates are detailed here.

October 2021

With specific health protocols and safety measures still in place due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, a team of nearly 200 construction workers has completed installation of the main performance hall’s gantries. Crews have also finished installing a thick glass curtain that wraps around the building, have connected the structure to the permanent power grid, and have begun adding the exterior aluminum rainscreen. In late fall 2021 and winter 2022, site workers will focus on completing the ground-floor studio and classroom spaces and the exterior hardscaping.

December 2020

On Dec. 10, construction crews lifted the PAC's final steel beam into place, marking a major milestone in the building's progress. Over the course of the fall, crews poured the PAC’s concrete foundation, installed floor slabs on the subterranean and ground floors and completed major utility connections around the perimeter of the building. The center is on track to open late in 2022 and reach full occupancy in Spring 2023.

August 2020

The PAC's concrete foundation has been completed, as has the installation of concrete floor slabs on the subterranean and ground floors. Major utility connections around the perimeter of the building will be completed at the end of August, and crews are on track to complete the building's steel skeleton frame by the end of 2020. Since March 2020, the spread of novel coronavirus has required new social distancing guidelines on the construction site — the target completion date for the building is Spring 2023 with full occupancy expected in Fall 2023.

November 2019

Excavation work below street level was completed and installation of the building's concrete foundation began, with the help of a 200-foot tower crane erected on site. Concrete placement will continue into Spring 2020. Installation of structural steel will begin during the spring months with a target completion date for the building's structural frame of early fall. By the end of 2020, the building is expected to be closed in and watertight. A series of webcams on the construction site shows progress.

February 2019

Brown and REX released the first renderings of the building, previewing its design and detailing the wide range of innovative spaces rehearsal and performance within the PAC. The Corporation of Brown University approved site work to begin in preparation for the construction of the building at its winter meeting. ​

December 2018

Brown relocated the historic Sharpe House, home to history department faculty and staff, from its longtime location on Angell Street to a new home on Brown Street, opening the site to enable future development of Brown’s planned PAC.  ​

November 2018

Brown announced that as part of a $31.6 million gift from generous donors Diana Nelson and John Atwater, $20 million would create the Diana Nelson and John Atwater Lobby in the PAC. The lobby is conceived as a visually striking, welcoming space surrounded nearly entirely by glass — as envisioned, it not only be an informal space for day-to-day student use, but will also be opened for gatherings, performances, events and other functions.

April 2018

The Providence City Plan Commission approved an amendment to Brown’s Institutional Master Plan, providing the authorization by the city required for the University to proceed with plans to build the PAC according to its revised plan. One month later, the Brown Corporation formally approved the site at its annual May meeting.

February 2018

After completing the program validation process and assessing feedback from the community, Brown revised plans for the PAC, reducing its above-ground footprint and shifting the building north to a smaller plan on The Walk between Angell and Olive streets. The revised plan preserve historic structures and remained true to the University’s academic goals for a central campus hub for the performing arts on College Hill.

May 2017

Brown selected the award-winning, New York City-based architecture firm REX — known for its imaginative approach to cultural buildings — to design the PAC. The University also unveiled plans to locate the building on a site between Waterman and Angell streets on The Walk near the heart of a cluster of arts facilities on campus.