A construction milestone of the Grossmont College Performing and Visual Arts Center was celebrated Thursday by educators and officials autographing the last structural beam going up on what promises to be a landmark structure.
The customary “topping off” ceremony also marks the nearly halfway point for the $42 million project being funded by Proposition V construction dollars approved by East County voters in 2012. The nearly 39,000-square-foot facility, which broke ground in 2017 and is targeted for completion in fall 2019, will serve as an instructional and performance venue for the theater, dance and music programs. In addition to a 390-seat, multipurpose theater replete with one of the largest stages in the county, an orchestra pit and balcony, the center will also house the Hyde Art Gallery.
Standing 53 feet tall, the structure designed by LPA Inc. is the tallest instructional facility on the campus. In addition to a performance venue, it will serve as a learning laboratory for student performers, technicians and designers in the Theatre Arts program. Dressing rooms, a green room, a costume area and a makeup classroom are part of the center. The theater entrance will feature a dramatically transparent lobby, a box office and concession area.
President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh said the new facility will change the face of Grossmont College because of its size and location at the front of the campus.
“This building will be the front door to our college,” he said. “With this facility, we are sending the message to the community that in addition to being a fantastic place of learning, we are a house for the arts in East County.”