The Performing Arts Center under a blue sky

Performing Arts Center


The Performing Arts Center (PAC) is one of the most unique facilities at Aquinas College because of its collaboration with the community. The collaboration is between four entities: the Aquinas College Theatre Program, Circle Theatre, Catholic Central High School, and West Catholic High School.

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The PAC is home to 15-16 shows per year, not including other special events. The Aquinas Theatre Program puts on four to five mainstage productions, while the Community Circle Theatre contributes six shows and a concert series. Also, the high schools each put on two shows, and they work together to put on one combined show. With 418 seats, this location also holds concerts, featured speakers, and other special events year-round. The number of events means the venue is constantly in use.

This collaboration was established in 2002 and it continues to grow and serve the community, making the venue more than just an academic building, but a cultural symbol in Grand Rapids. It is nationally unique and sets Aquinas College apart from other colleges by taking community involvement to a new level. Through the partnership, students are introduced to the performing arts at the high school level, their skills and knowledge are refined through college-level theatre, and they are able to share their talents through a professional program--all at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center.


Performing Arts Center (from I-96):

  • Take the CASCADE RD WEST exit- EXIT 40A.
  • Merge onto CASCADE RD SE.
  • A sign reading Performing Arts Center will be on the right

P.A.C. Stats

Partners: Aquinas College, Circle Theatre, Catholic Secondary Schools

Location: Aquinas College, 1703 Robinson Road S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Cost: $7 million (Construction, furnishings, operating endowment)

Site: 107-acre wooded site at Aquinas with parking for 232 vehicles

Size: 28,500 sq. ft.

Seating: 410 permanent seats (expand to 500 for special events)

Contractor: Erhardt Construction

Architects: Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber, Grand Rapids; Holabird and Root, Chicago


  • Steeped stadium-style seating for 410
  • 3/4 thrust stage
  • A rehearsal hall
  • Scene shop and costume shop
  • ETC emphasis lighting control system
  • On-site storage for staging and equipment
  • Additional rooms for dressing & make-up

Students performing on stage with a courtyard like structure featuring a pool of water at the center