Inside Eau Claire's Confluence Arts Center

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- In just a little less than nine months, the public will get its first chance to see inside one of the city's biggest building projects to date.

The Confluence Arts Center is on track to open September 1st, but there's still plenty of work to do until the building hosts its first shows and events.

The doors are made of plywood right now, but acting executive director of the Confluence Arts Center, Jason Jon Anderson says entering the Confluence Arts Center is meant to be inviting to people from all walks of life.

“We want you to feel like you have entered someplace special. This should also be a place where everyone feels welcome,” Anderson explained as he stood inside the lower level of the arts center.

The $45 million building is coming alive with each passing day, and Anderson says at this point they’re on budget and ahead of schedule. From the entryway to the theatre spaces inside this building, everything was designed with a purpose in mind and a goal to showcase the natural beauty of the confluence of the two rivers its built next to.

“The physical meeting space of the two rivers is really unique. Especially two magnificent rivers like the Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers. That confluence belongs to the public and we want to make sure people have access to this view when they are in the building,” Anderson added.

At the heart of the building is the Royal Credit Union Theatre, a space that will hold 1200 people. The space replaces the aging State Theatre just blocks away from the Confluence construction site.

“The space of the stage itself is three times the size of the State Theatre. The fly gallery here is 93 feet. This will be a Broadway style stage and it’s just as good for live music for symphony or performances,” Anderson said.

The arts and performance space doesn't end at the Royal Credit Union Theatre, The JAMF Software Theatre next door features flexible seating and can be home to local events in the future.

“The architect designed this in a way that it can serve as a gathering space for meetings and events. There are 8 retractable chandeliers in this room,” Anderson said as he pointed out the features in the JAMF Software Theatre.

Also on the first floor of the building are several rehearsal rooms and an art gallery. Up on the third floor are two additional meeting spaces that round out the building that Anderson says will take Eau Claire's Art scene to the next level.

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