San Lorenzo Valley High School students heading back to campus in August may deal with extra noise, dust and debris, as work on a new Performing Arts Center could start as soon as June.
The plan calls for tearing down the 29-year-old theater and replacing it with a modern theater facility — the latest construction project set to be funded by Measure O bonds.
The job is expected to take 14 months, according to Erik Slaughter, construction manager for San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District.
“It’s going to be a nice, nice building,” he said. “It’s (going to be) almost twice the size. It’s also much taller.”
Slaughter said the theater would have 200 stadium-style seats, expanded workshop areas, high ceilings designed to hoist set pieces, an all-glass lobby, a modern tech booth, restrooms and overhead catwalks.
He said that although the building will have a footprint only slightly larger than the old theater, it will be twice as large at 10,500 square feet.
Coco Walter, chairwoman of the Measure O Bond Oversight Committee, said the performing arts center was among the campus upgrades made possible by the $18.9 million bond measure, which was passed by San Lorenzo Valley voters in the 2008 primary election.
“It was part of the whole big picture,” she said. “It was always in the back of our heads that (the theater) would be the next phase of the project.”
Measure O has paid for the construction of a new science building, library and classrooms on the three valley campuses.
The lead architect for the project is Steve Parker of HMC Architects, which designed the library shared by San Lorenzo Valley Middle and High schools.
Still, Walter said the theater will have its own unique appearance.
“It will be a whole new face for the high school,” she said. “Once you look at the model, you’ll see that it doesn’t look like the library.”
Slaughter said every salvageable piece from the old theater will be saved and reused at other schools in the district. The budget for the new theater calls for all-new lighting and sound equipment.
The district is waiting on approval of the plans by the Division of the State Architect has yet to seek bids from contractors, but $5.5 million in Measure O funds are budgeted for demolition and construction, Slaughter said.
“Once the approval process is done, then we’ll put it out to bid,” he said.
The theater project will exhaust the Measure O funding.
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