McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of Southern California’s foremost building companies specializing in educational facilities, began construction of the Arcadia High School Performing Arts Center in February 2011. The 40,000 sq. ft. facility will anchor the campus at its northwest corner on a 4.2 acre site at Campus Drive and El Monte Avenue. McCarthy is serving as general contractor for the $20 million project and LPA of Irvine is the project architect and interior designer.
Once completed in September 2012, the new performing arts center will become the latest addition to Arcadia High School’s historic campus. The main performance hall will incorporate ground level and mezzanine seating for 1,200 and a stage with capacity for up to 150 musicians. Designed for acoustic performance, this space will be equipped with adjustable sound-absorptive panels that will allow it to be acoustically “tuned” based on the needs of the performance. The main hall is also designed with state-of-the-art technology that will make it an exciting venue for the visual arts. Students will enjoy direct access to the main hall from three adjacent classrooms. Each classroom space has been tailored to instructors’ and students’ needs, from the practice rooms and storage capabilities of the Orchestra Room, to the flexible seating arrangements provided in the Blackbox/Drama Room, and the quadruple-sprung wood floor included in the Dance Room.
“Neither Arcadia Unified School District (AUSD), nor the City of Arcadia has a facility to host performances, so they rent facilities in other cities,” said Randy Cole, project manager for McCarthy. “The new Center will provide performance space for Arcadia Unified School District school performances and events that will benefit and serve the entire Arcadia community. In addition, performing arts, especially music, are extremely important to the District, and this facility will showcase this priority for the Arts through its design.”
“The Arcadia High School Performing Arts Center project will offer some challenges,” said Cole. “We will be working on an operational campus requiring collaborative working schedules with the school to alleviate any disruptions to school programs. Coordination of above-ceiling mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) and stage rigging in the auditorium will provide further project complexities. In order to ensure quality and streamline the project, McCarthy will be leading a 3-D modeling effort to coordinate all above-ceiling spaces.”
Myers Houghton & Partners is the project’s structural engineer and Henrikson Owen & Associates is the mechanical engineer.