LOS ANGELES, /PRNewswire/ — Nearly 300 people were in attendance at East Los Angeles College March 21 to celebrate the campus’ new Performing & Fine Arts Complex. The $65-million facility, the second-largest project in the LACCD’s Sustainable Construction Program, sits at the heart of East LA’s art community.
The 160,000-square-foot “green” project is made up of three buildings – the Vincent Price Art Museum; the Dance, Music and Visual Arts building; and the Theatre Arts building – and has several outdoor patios that serve as art areas, rehearsal space and informal performance areas. The complex was designed to accommodate students and guests while encouraging student collaboration and joint creativity across the various disciplines.
“This project is truly a milestone for the District and for the East Los Angeles College campus,” said Georgia Mercer, president of the LACCD Board of Trustees. “The Performing & Fine Arts Complex is a prime example of how we are working to change the face of our colleges. It’s nearly impossible to imagine the positive impact these buildings will have on the students and on the community as a whole.”
East Los Angeles College is one of the nine colleges that make up the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and funds for the new Performing & Fine Arts Complex came from the $6-billion LACCD construction program approved by Los Angeles voters.
The complex, designed by Arquitectonica, Intl., is expected to be LEED certified and serves as home for the college’s renowned art collection and programs.
Founded in 1957, the Vincent Price Art Museum is the first public art gallery to serve the East Los Angeles area. Boasting a collection of more than 8,000 works, the museum is a cultural center for the college and the community, offering exhibits of the permanent collection as well as temporary shows.
The four-story, 40,000 square-foot building houses the Thomas Silliman Vault and a 6,000 square-foot art storage space equipped with custom-designed units and a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system designed for safe art storage. There are also preparation workshops, seven gallery spaces and a 116-seat “smart” lecture hall for art history courses and lectures. The new building is a comprehensive space for learning – classes are augmented with high-definition projections and acoustics. Students can walk out of a lecture and visit the museum to see examples of related works.
The 77,000 square-foot, two-story Dance, Music and Visual Arts building includes a 350 fixed seat recital hall for music and dance performances, as well as several studios for class instruction. The recital hall is equipped with the latest audio visual and theater lighting systems. There are also locker rooms and areas designed for costume storage.
The visual arts wing includes painting, sculpture, print making, ceramics/sculpture, design and drawing studios. The ceramics area is equipped with an indoor/outdoor porch that houses five gas kilns and one electric kiln for firing student ceramic projects.
The music wing features a choir and music library, music computer labs and rehearsal space, equipped with the latest audio visual systems and smart classroom equipment. There is also an onsite recording studio to provide student musicians with practical recording and production experience.
The two-story, 42,000 square-foot Theater Arts building features two theaters. One is a 167 fixed seat drama theater with traditional stage and rigging. It is equipped with the latest audio visual and theater lighting systems. The other is a black box theater that allows flexible seating for numerous staging configurations, including theater-in-the-round productions.
A costume workshop, makeup and design lab, rehearsal classroom and stage workshops allow classes to take place while productions are being prepared. The department’s comprehensive education offerings prepare acting students for TV, film and stage, as well as careers in stage management, scenery design, lighting, makeup and costume design.
At the dedication event, District representatives, college faculty and staff, and students were joined by the mayor and council representatives from the City of Monterey Park, as well as representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Judy Chu, Assembly member Mike Eng and Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina.
“This complex is a real source of pride for East Los Angeles College,” said President Ernest Moreno. “These three buildings are a showplace for our teachers and our students, and they provide an educational environment like never before. I know I speak for the entire college when I say how happy we are to be able to offer this complex to the students and the East Los Angeles region.”
Along with its state-of-the-art design, the Performing & Fine Arts Complex features several sustainable practices and technologies, and has many “green” features, including:
- A landscape irrigation drip system that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants via a network of valves, pipes, tubing and emitters.
- Low water consumption bathroom fixtures throughout the buildings, reducing water usage by 30 percent.
- The use of low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) materials (paint, sealant, adhesives, etc.) throughout the buildings to foster cleaner indoor air quality and offer an improved environment for faculty and students.
- The redirection of more than 80 percent of both demolished and construction debris from disposal to landfills and incinerators. The material was recycled back to the manufacturing process.
- More than 34 percent of the materials used throughout new construction consisted of recycled content. This included steel studs, door and frames, insulation, louvers, fly ash, structural steel, rebar, etc.
- A cool roof system which reduces heat island affects and maximizes energy savings.
East Los Angeles College began holding classes in the complex in the spring semester. For more information on the Performing & Fine Arts Complex, or to get a schedule of upcoming events and performances, please visit www.elac.edu.
About East Los Angeles College
East Los Angeles College has an international, multicultural student body that complements the 14 communities comprising its primary service area. The college offers both academic transfer courses which prepare students for admission to four-year colleges and universities, and occupational programs which prepare students for careers in two years or less. The college is located in the suburban community of Monterey Park, California, ten miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
About the LACCD Sustainable Building Program
The Los Angeles Community College District’s $6-billion Sustainable Building Program is dramatically remaking and modernizing each of LACCD’s nine colleges. The Program has won numerous awards for its design and sustainability, and has received consistently high marks from auditors for its ongoing commitment to improving its management. For more information on the LACCD’s construction program and the improvements it is brining to its colleges and their surrounding communities, visit www.LACCDBuildsGreen.org