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Wharton Center unveils completed renovations

By Scott Pohl, WKAR News

East Lansing, MI – The Wharton Center for Performing Arts at Michigan State University held an open house Sunday to take the wraps off a major improvement project.

There's 24,000 square feet of new space, and another nine thousand square feet of space was renovated.

Wharton Center executive director Mike Brand says the project has taken about three years from its inception to its completion. He says new amenities will be the most notable to patrons.

"(There's) 24 more restrooms, most of them are for women, and these lounges here, the donor lounge, which is the Jackson lounge, and the Christman lounge, are going to be huge opportunities for people to kick back and relax, and the lobby has been extended. The box office is three times the size," Brand says.

Long-time season ticket holder Terry Rathsack of East Lansing says she thinks the new surroundings will add to her enjoyment of future performances at Wharton.

"I think it's beautiful," Rathsack says. "I think they expanded in the right places. The lobby is really impressive, and I think that wasn't very impressive if you were bringing company when you came, so I like it a lot. I like the changes."

The budget for the renovation project was $18.5 million.

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