Apr 10, 2024 - News

Belmont University plans expansion on Music Row

A rendering showing a multi-story building on Nashville's Music Row.

A rendering showing a planned Belmont University expansion on Music Row. Image: Courtesy of Belmont University

Music executive Mike Curb is giving Belmont University $58 million to help fund a dramatic expansion of the institution's Music Row footprint.

Why it matters: It's the biggest donation in Belmont history. University president Greg Jones said in a statement that the funding "solidifies Belmont's position at the forefront of developing the next generation of music industry leaders."

Driving the news: Belmont has educated many eventual country music stars, songwriters and executives through its music business program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

  • University leaders announced the donation last night ahead of an anniversary celebration at the Grand Ole Opry that featured performances from Belmont alums such as Brad Paisley and Trisha Yearwood.

Zoom in: The university said the donation jumpstarted plans to build a new 75,000-square-foot Music Row facility that will bring students next door to their career aspirations.

  • The building will be constructed on the parking lot behind Belmont's existing space at 34 Music Square East and will house content production rooms, a performance venue and areas for students to meet with executives.

Curb's donation, made with the Mike Curb Foundation, is also funding renovations that are already underway at the historic Buddy Lee Attractions/Capitol Records building, which is next door to the existing Belmont building.

  • That work will add 17,000 square feet of songwriting rooms, listening spaces and classrooms for Belmont students.

What he's saying: "As Nashville's music industry has grown and evolved into an international entertainment hub, it's crucial that our education system keeps pace to develop skilled talent," Curb said in a statement.

Zoom out: Curb is a longtime Belmont booster. The university's college of entertainment and music business, which offers courses on every aspect of the industry, was named in his honor.

The big picture: Belmont has greatly expanded its overall campus footprint in recent years as the university emerged as a fundraising juggernaut.

What's next: University officials say the new building will require more fundraising; they expect construction to begin in the next two years.

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