The Grand Tour: SCAD Atlanta’s Midtown Expansion Development with FORTY FIVE and SCADshow

SCAD Atlanta Midtown Expansion

Recently, I had the privilege to tour SCAD Atlanta’s Midtown expansion development. It’s a sprawling project on Spring Street, encompassing more than 556,000 square feet. Saying it’s an architectural marvel, is an understatement. It’s absolutely stunning, filled with beautiful design work (designed by both students and alumni), state-of-the-art technology, innovative spaces, and just an overall vibe that pulsates with creative energy.

Everywhere you look, there’s a kaleidoscope of ideas taking shape – whether it’s the cool topiaries in the courtyard or the students clustered together talking over their sketchbooks. The artistic spirit that is present is undeniable. It’s a haven for those who love and appreciate art. And for me, someone who finished their MFA more than a decade ago, my visit had me yearning to go back to college, just so I could be surrounded by an environment like the one I was seeing.

But let’s get back to the tour. My time walking (and taking SCAD’s transportation) around campus was focused on two significant additions to the campus: FORTY FIVE, the university’s newest 14-story tower, and SCADshow, an innovative entertainment venue.

SCAD Atlanta’s Midtown Expansion

SCAD Atlanta Midtown Expansion
Photo Credit: SCAD


The unveiling of FORTY FIVE is a testament to SCAD Atlanta’s substantial investment in the city. This expansion is not merely a physical growth but also reflects the record enrollment increase for the college, showing an impressive surge of over 8% for the 2023-2024 academic year

Named FORTY FIVE to commemorate the 45 years since the university’s establishment by President Paula Wallace in 1978, the expansion is more than just a structure to its enrollment. It is a beacon of creativity and innovation for its students, encapsulating residential, academic, and lifestyle amenities designed to inspire.

On the residential front, FORTY FIVE also hosts SCAD Atlanta’s newest residence hall, accommodating over 400 students. And these aren’t your typical college dorms. They’re apartment-style living spaces equipped with modern amenities, offering high-rise urban living with breathtaking views of Atlanta’s skyline. They’re a far cry from the stereotypical dorms so many of us have seen or lived in.

Additionally, the building incorporates 27,000 square feet of expanded academic space equipped with cutting-edge technology and labs. But it’s not all work and no play. It also houses SCAD Atlanta’s newest fitness and wellness facility, SCADfit, complete with a rooftop pool.

SCAD AnimationFest
Photo Credit: Emma Loggins for FanBolt

Meet the SCADshow

In addition to FORTY FIVE, the expansion is also the new home to SCADshow. It’s a world-class entertainment and performance venue featuring two state-of-the-art theater spaces. The largest one boasts a 700-seat mainstage, and the second one is a more intimate 130-seat theater. Both are equipped with industry-leading projection and sound production technology.

SCADshow will offer dynamic programming throughout the year, hosting industry screenings with Hollywood notables, special performances, and expertly curated events. This past weekend, the venue hosted SCAD’s AnimationFest, which featured sessions with top executives and creatives from Netflix, Gearbox, Cartoon Network Studios, FOX, Viva Kids, Animal Repair Shop, Crafty Apes, Artie, and FuseFX, as well as SCAD faculty and alumni at the forefront animation.

Needless to say, touring the new additions to SCAD was an inspiring experience. It represents a significant step forward for the college. I look forward to seeing what they do next.

Curious about the college? Check out more information on SCAD here.


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