An unused 85-year-old church has been born again as the arts center for the University of Washington Tacoma.

The choir loft is now a computer lab. The basement hall and sanctuary are studio classrooms.

Arts professor Beverly Naidus tells The News Tribune it's fitting because "art has always been a spiritual act."

The school will have a grand opening ceremony next Thursday for the building once called the Whitney Memorial United Methodist Church. It was originally organized as a mission society for Japanese immigrants.

The brick building was built in 1929. It was closed during World War II when Japanese were sent to internment camps. It's been 15 years since the last religious service was held in the church.