GLADEWATER (AP) — A former church-turned-art gallery in East Texas has a new role thanks to a 1950 Union High School graduate who wanted to give back to the district.

The Longview News-Journal ( ) reported Saturday that the structure will be a performing arts complex for the Union Grove Independent School District.

Property owner Joan Sturkie donated the Whisenhunt Center in Gladewater. Trustees earlier this month accepted the contribution that will be used starting in the upcoming school year.

The district plans to use the 430-seat building for its drama department and one-act plays, as well as community events and theater performances.

School district theater director Sandy Spears says a smaller campus venue that's currently being used only seats about 200 and has a limited stage area.



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