RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – Ridgeland leaders moved forward with their plans for the design of the new performing arts center. The mayor and board of alderman recently signed a contract to proceed with the next elements for design.

At a Tuesday meeting, the board hired Dean Architecture to design the $22 million performing arts center. The 45,000 square foot building will be built west of the new city hall building. Dean Architecture is the same company that designed the new city hall building.

The new performing arts center will include a 1,200 seat auditorium, a black box theatre, a multi-purpose room, meeting spaces, and administrative offices. According to city officials, the design work will take between 12 and 18 months.

Fundraising for the effort will also take place. Board members approved unanimously to bring the design firm on, stating they feel comfortable with the work done by Dean Architecture.

According to city leaders, Ridgeland has no funds in the budget to cover the contract costs. However, Dean Architecture has reserved the right to invoice the city for the work and to simultaneously make a donation to the project at the same time.