Von Braun Center set for $12 million expansion

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.-- As Huntsville's music scene grows, the Von Braun Center is set to make some changes.

"We're basically busting at the seams," Von Braun Center executive director Steve Maples said. "We've got more demand than we have space. In particular, demand for weekend space."

That's why Maples says it's time for the VBC to expand. The public is invited to the groundbreaking of the new Music Hall on the corner of Clinton and Monroe Wednesday, August 15 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Guests that attend the ceremony will be able to enjoy live music and free food and drinks. One lucky winner will go home with a certificate for two tickets to the first performance in the Music Hall.

"We need to do something unique that matches coming into downtown for the new look of downtown for the future," Maples said.

Huntsville city leaders gave the $12 million project their blessing last month. Bailey Harris Construction will soon start work on what'll also be a rooftop bar and a restaurant.

Renderings by the architecture firm Matheny Goldmon show the big plans. Recent lodging tax increases in the city are paying for the expansion.

With a new hotel nearby nearly finished and three phases of even more expansion planned for the VBC, Maples says downtown may be unrecognizable within two years.

The new Music Hall is phase one of what'll be a larger expansion at the VBC, which will include a new kitchen, multi-purpose ballroom and underground parking.

Maples says they plan to finish the music hall and rooftop bar by the fall of 2019.