LOS ANGELES, May 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --It's the training ground for L.A.'s most promising young talent and the alma mater of the likes of recording artist Josh Groban, actor Corbin Bleu and playwright Josefina Lopez. But since its founding in 1985, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts has never really had a home of its own, having always shared facilities on the Cal State L.A. campus.
So it marked a milestone for "LACHSA" and arts education when the school's new $31 million facility was unveiled today at a grand opening ceremony.
"LACHSA's new building is more than a beautiful learning environment. It serves as a beacon of hope for the future of arts education in our public schools," said Arturo Delgado, superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Educations, which operates the school in partnership with Cal State L.A.
The three-level facility features 21 classrooms and black box theatre on 1.24 acres of land on the university campus. For the first time in nearly 30 years, LACHSA is able to hold academic classes in one building and has access to its own rehearsal and performance space.
"It has been more than two years since we broke ground on the new Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and the wait has been well worth it," said Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser. "Now some of the region's - and beyond - most talented young artists have a state-of-the-art facility that is esthetically beautiful and provides its talented and dedicated faculty and staff a variety of tools to engage and enable students' full potential."
Elected and education officials joined with hundreds of students, families, alumni, school personnel and stakeholders for the afternoon grand opening ceremony held as part of the annual "LACHSALive" all-day festival of performances and exhibitions.
Funding for the school's construction came from a $31.8 million "financial hardship" grant to the Office of Education through the California School Facilities Program from Propositions 47, 55 and 1D. The final cost of the project was $31 million. Construction began in February 2011. The Office contracted with HMC Architects of Ontario and construction management firm Bernards of San Fernando for the project.
The black box theatre was equipped through a $1.25 million grant from state's Career Technical Education Program and a generous matching gift from the Leonetti-O'Connell Family Foundation through the Arts High Foundation. Named "Caroline's LOFT" (Leonetti-O'Connell Family Theatre) in honor of LACHSA co-founder Caroline Ahmanson, the space provides for rehearsals and performances as well as technical training in the cinematic arts and stagecraft.
An $875,000 grant from Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich (Dist. 5), also a LACHSA co-founder, is funding construction of an amphitheatre scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2014.
The award-winning LACHSA combines college-preparatory academic instruction with conservatory-style training in the visual and performing arts. The school serves 600 diverse students from across Los Angeles County who are selected through a competitive process of juried auditions or portfolio review. Learn more at: www.lachsa.net.
A photo of new building can be downloaded at: www.tinyurl.com/lachsabuilding. Video of the day's events can be found on our FTP site at: www.lacoe.edu/videodownloads by 5:00 pm PST (username: mediauser; password: media2013).
SOURCE Los Angeles County Office of Education