BOONE – After being closed for over three months, Appalachian State University’s Legends music venue is back to being operational.
“As of Thursday, (Feb. 1), we are ready to open,” said Brad Vest, associate director of the Plemmons Student Union and Legends. “We’re very excited to have it back open.”
The building has been closed for renovations since Oct. 23, when flood waters inundated the building, causing sheetrock damage and mold issues that made the building unusable.
“I’ve been at ASU for 25-plus years, and this was the worst flood damage I’ve ever seen at that venue,” Vest said of the damage to Legends.
According to Vest, the building itself hasn’t changed, with the renovations focused strictly on restoration. Vest said the project, which was bid out by the ASU Physical Plant to Spangler Restorations, cost $14,500 and wrapped up in late January.
“They did a fabulous job,” Vest said of Spangler. “The physical plant staff were super to work with. Hats off to them getting the building ready to go.”
With the building at the bottom of a hill on the east side of ASU, the facility is naturally at risk for flood events.
The long-term future of the facility is under question as the ASU 2025 Master Plan calls for the redevelopment of the space.
When asked Monday for comment on the future of the space, ASU spokesperson Megan Hayes referred to a statement by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs J.J. Brown from Oct. 19, 2017.
“Any investment in continuing its operation at this location could be relatively short-term,” Brown said in the statement.
Brown said Legends has become “very dated,” but did say the facility can be used as an event venue for the foreseeable future.
Brown also referenced a team that ASU Director of the Department of Student Engagement & Leadership Jeff Cathey is leading, which consists of students, faculty and staff which aims to “continuously evaluate the best options given the currently available venues.”
“This group will explore other available opportunities and options that meet the programming needs but are more financially viable than renovating the existing building,” Brown said in the fall. “Possibilities include building a new facility, and considering ways we might configure existing space to become concert and entertainment venues.”
Hayes said the team is still working.
Legends has been operational since 1985, originally opening as H’Appy’s and changing names in 1988. The facility has hosted thousands of acts and events, including Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Outkast, Jimmy Fallon, Widespread Panic, Nickel Creek, Chelsea Clinton, Collective Soul, Carrot Top, the Wailers, Edwin McCain and many more.
According to Vest, Legends hosted 22,000 people in the 2016-17 academic year for events.
“It has served us well over the years,” Vest said. “It’s a safe and inclusive environment for programs and entertainment. Great venue for student organizations to have social programming.”
Annual events such as Don’t Throw it Away! And The BIG Sale help serve nonprofits in the area, such as Watauga County Social Services, Legal Aid, Mountain Alliance, Children’s Playhouse and many more.
The first event on the calendar is the 10th annual Fiddler’s Convention kickoff concert on Friday, Feb. 9, from 8 to 11 p.m.
Another big event coming up for Legends will be the ASU Dance Marathon. The annual fundraiser, which has been an ASU tradition for 15 years, benefits the Western Youth Network and Parent to Parent Family Support Network, culminating in a 15-hour dance marathon on Saturday, Feb. 24.