New performing arts center coming to Reedley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Harold McClarty of HMC Farms made a million dollar donation to have the McClarty Center for Fine and Performing Arts built on the Reedley College campus.

He says it's important to the culture of the community.

"Oh, it's art that makes us real," McClarty said. "It's music that makes us. The rest of it is a bit more of a job."

McClarty remembers watching lectures in the campus cafeteria and being inspired by speakers like Rod Serling, so he wanted to see something bigger.

A portion of the orchard will need to be cleared away, but this site holds special significance. Thomas and Amantha Reed once lived here.

"This is on a historical plot of land where Reedley was first founded, and we are going to be breaking ground about a year from now," said SCCCD Chancellor Dr. Paul Parnell.

The project will cost between $22 million and $30 million to complete. Excitement is already building not only on campus but in surrounding areas like Dinuba and Cutler-Orosi.

Putting the family name on the center gave McClarty a chill.

"It brought a little bit of a tear to the eye. You're going, my goodness sakes," he said. "That's a wonderful, wonderful experience and it wasn't the purpose behind it or anything like that, but it's just to have that kind acknowledgment, and my grandkids will look at it and say Pepe did something good."

It will take about two years before the McClarty Center for Fine and Performing Arts is complete.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.