Jefferson Performing Arts Center opens after years of delay

Jefferson Performing Arts Center opens after years of delay

JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The Jefferson Performing Arts Center is sparkling and ready for guests. The opening of the center on Airline Drive is six years overdue and more than $20 million over budget. The end result is being hailed a state-of-the art marvel.

"It's an it's an expansion of the arts in Jefferson Parish which is much needed," said General Manager Jose Torres. "People who don't venture into New Orleans will come here."

From its dramatic three-story atrium to walls filled with $1 million in art, Torres says it's an accomplishment worth waiting for.

The fanfare has been a long time coming. The center was supposed to be finished in 2009 at a cost of $27 million. Six years later, the cost doubled. Contractors told FOX 8 in 2011 that delays were due to plans from the architect that had to be revised more than 400 times.

Torres says they're leaving the past behind and not dwelling on it.

"It's here, come and let us entertain you," he said.

The three-level theater seats more than $1,000 people.

"You can also see a good shot of the opera boxes from here. There are four of them; each has eight leather-covered high-back chairs," Torres said.

An orchestra rehearsed on the 61-foot stage preparing for a Saturday night opening - an anxiously awaited end to years of planning.

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