ARCADIA, CA—A 60-year old wish for the community of Arcadia has finally come true with the opening of Arcadia Unified School District’s new $20 million Performing Arts Center. It was the District’s intent to build an auditorium in 1952 when the high school was originally constructed, but there was no funding. Due to the passage of Bond Measure I in 2006, the District finally had a chance to fulfill this community’s enduring dream.
“We are exceptionally pleased to have realized the dream of providing our students, faculty and community members with a world class performing arts venue that will become a home for the arts in Arcadia,” said AUSD Superintendent Dr. Joel Shawn. “All aspects of the arts are an essential component of a rigorous education for our students and a healthy, vibrant community.”
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of Southern California’s foremost building companies specializing in educational facilities, served as general contractor/developer for the facility using Lease/Leaseback project delivery. Constructed on a 4.2 acre site at the northwest end of the Arcadia High School campus, the 40,000 square-foot theater venue opened on October 27, 2012 with an inaugural benefit concert by living music legend Paul Anka.
In addition to being used by the high school for drama, dance and music performances and classes, the new Center will be enjoyed by the entire community, as it is the only performing arts venue in the City of Arcadia. The nonprofit Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation was recently created to support the new center with efforts underway to fund the maintenance and a full-time theater manager for the Center.
Designed by LPA, Inc. the new Performing Arts Center is the latest addition to Arcadia High School’s historic campus. Performing arts, especially music, are extremely important to the Arcadia Unified School District, and this high-concept facility showcases this priority for the Arts through its architecture.
The main performance hall incorporates ground level and mezzanine seating for 1,200 and a stage with capacity for up to 200 musicians. Designed for acoustic performance, this space is equipped with adjustable sound-absorptive panels that allow it to be acoustically “tuned” based on the needs of the performance. In addition, moveable orchestra shells can be utilized to adjust the size of the stage to the performance and the orchestra shell’s acoustical qualities increase the sound projection to the audience. The main hall is also designed with professional lighting and sound systems as well as other state-of-the-art technology making it an exciting venue for the visual arts.