School board reviews plans for new performing arts center

    An computer drawing shows the interior of the future theater. [Photo by David Raftrey]

    An computer rendering shows the interior of the future preforming arts center. [Rendering provided by DLM architecture]

    Palo Alto High School is seeking to build a new performing arts center though its construction will not begin until the media arts building is complete, according to a presentation at last week’s school board meeting.

    While the soonest construction on the performing arts center could begin is in early 2014, the Palo Alto Unified School District has not set a groundbreaking date. Before construction of the performing arts center can begin, the Division of the State Architect must approve the plans and construction of the media arts building must be finished, according to PAUSD consultant Tom Hodges who spoke at the school board meeting last Tuesday. Hodges added that possible construction of the new gym will not affect the start date for the construction of the preforming arts center.

    “The thing that’s driving [the groundbreaking date] this project is completing the media arts project,” Hodges said.

    The new $17 million performing arts center will seat 583 people and include second story box seats and an orchestra pit, according to Hodges.

    The cost of the new performing arts venue is covered by the Strong Schools Bond, a $378 million bond to fund district construction passed in 2008, and will not require additional funding, according to Hodges.

    “The estimate is within one percent of our budget, so that’s looking good,” Hodges said.

    The school board is expected to officially approve the designs for the new performing arts center at the school board meeting at 6:30 p.m. on March 12 at the district office.

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