$10M donated to Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts



ORLANDO, Fla. - A major downtown Orlando construction project got a big financial boost on Friday.

The Dr. Phillips Charities announced a large donation for the second phase of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.

The donation marks a turning point in the project because the portion of the project it is aimed at will add a third theater to the center.

The donors told Channel 9 that they hope the $10 million donation will help the entire center open at around the same time.

As cranes swing and crews continue work on the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center's main facility and first two theaters, its catalyst donor pledged to give even more.

Dr. Phillips Charities donated $25 million back in 2006 and Friday's donation will help with the completion of a third and final theater.

"It has always been our intent, from the very beginning, from our first $25 million contribution, that this would be built at one time," said Jim Hinson with Dr. Phillips Charities.

The last of three theaters will be multi-use, feature 1,700 seats and will be home to the Orlando Ballet and Philharmonic Orchestra.

It was originally scheduled to be open at the same time as the Walt Disney and Jim and Alexis Pugh theaters, which will be ready next fall.

Arts center president Katherine Ramsberger said Friday's donation will help make up for lost time. She suggested that this is the first of many donations to come this year.

"This one is so significant we wanted to mention it first, and then over the next several months we will roll out other gifts we've been receiving for the arts center," said Ramsberger.

The center needs $65 million in additional donations for phase two but officials said they're confident they'll be able to break ground on phase two by this time next year.