The Tobin Center was born from the idea that San Antonio needed a world-class performing arts facility. Despite the existence of the Majestic Theater and the now recently renovated Lila Cockrell Theater, a new state-of-the-art center was desired. And so in 2008 the question was put to the voters of Bexar County who approved a $100 million bond to fund construction of the facility.
Behind a chain-link fence that surrounds the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, hammering, grinding and drilling echo throughout. Cranes move tons of steel used to reinforce the auditorium and the 120-foot-tall metal veil that will be placed atop the building's historic façade. Workers balance on steel beams high above the ground, laboring to assemble the auditorium's shell, which should be complete by May.
Decked out in hard hats, reflective vests, and goggles, the two of us looked like poster kids for OSHA as we entered the building. Peering out into the immense empty space, Bugg recalled a comment that captures the experience of being in the hole. “When I brought Tommy Lee Jones here the first time, he asked me, ‘Bruce, what are you going to do with this airplane hanger?’”