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Construction on Center for Fine Arts Gets Under Way

By: Sherry Squires   Published 2:54 pm / May 2, 2017

Fine arts groundbreaking

Boise State University has begun construction on the new Center for Fine Arts, a $42 million project on the west end of campus along Capitol Boulevard.

“The arts and humanities are vital and crucial to the success of our city, state and region now more than ever before,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra. “With Boise State’s STEM focus and the Center for Fine Arts, we will position our students to meet at this intersection of the arts and technology where anything is possible.”

Rendering of the Fine Arts Building

LCA, executive architect, in association with HGA, designer

Kustra led a groundbreaking ceremony today to mark the start of construction of the 90,000- square-feet, five-story building. The Center for Fine Arts will bring all Boise State art programs under one roof, including the Visual Arts Center and the Arts and Humanities Institute.

“Not only will the Center for Fine Arts provide space for the study and practice of the fine arts, but it also will be a place for everyone to come for new experiences with art,” Kustra said.

Housed in the new Center for Fine Arts will be the interactive, high-tech World Museum, where students and visitors can be transported across the globe to virtually visit world-class museums, such as the Louvre in Paris, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., or the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. Expected to be one of the more popular destinations in the Center for Fine Arts, the World Museum is a place where students and visitors of all ages can learn about and experience some of the world’s most exclusive art collections.

Built specifically for the creation, study and display of art, the new building will be an instant regional landmark and community gathering place on Boise State’s campus. The interior and exterior will feature modern, industrial finishes, glass, and concrete floors. A two-story entrance and a highly visible 4,000-square-foot-gallery will invite both the public and campus community to view exclusive exhibitions and collections with state-of-the-art lighting, temperature and humidity controls.

Construction details include:

The Building

  • 90,000 square feet on five floors
  • Two prominent wings joined by an inviting glass lobby
  • Studios for each artistic medium, such as ceramics and painting
  • Multiple classrooms and critique spaces
  • World Museum


  • Design development: 2014-16
  • Bonding approved by State Board of Education: December 2016
  • Groundbreaking: May 2017
  • Completion: August 2019


  • $42 Million: total cost
  • $32 Million: university bonding and internally reallocated funds
  • $5 Million: State of Idaho Permanent Building Fund
  • $5 Million: philanthropic contributions