Orange County School Kicks Off Capital Campaign

SANTA ANA, Calif. — The Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) announced the launch of a capital campaign for a new state-of-the-art expansion. The new construction will be a first for the Santa Ana-based school, which to date has occupied repurposed commercial buildings.

The $20 million expansion will tackle multiple elements of the school’s campus from education to infrastructure. Construction will focus on a 60,000-square-foot Instructional Center, including seven modern science labs, 14 dance studios, instrumental music and choir rehearsal facilities, 16 practice rooms, dressing rooms and storage space. A portion of the funds will also help improve resources and technology throughout the campus, and provide new equipment for the school’s film and television and digital media conservatories.

The project will create a central quad and stage area outside, where students can create, study, collaborate and showcase their talent. Nearby, a double-lane student pick-up and drop-off area will be added to improve access. Exterior improvements to existing facilities, as well as security upgrades, will help integrate the new structure into the existing campus.

“When completed, OCSA will be an impressive urban campus featuring more than 300,000 square feet of instruction, performance and support facilities — high-quality facilities that will match our high-quality programming,” said Ralph S. Opacic, capital campaign co-chair, in a statement.

The OCSA currently serves nearly 2,000 students in grades 7–12 across five different schools focused on applied arts, fine and media arts, dance, music and theater. OCSA is also the only institution of its kind in the region to offer tuition-free academic and arts instruction to students from Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties.

“The Orange County School of the Arts represents a vital piece in the Orange County arts community, and is already among the finest arts high schools in the country,” said Marybelle Musco, campaign co-chair, in a statement. “Now is the time to provide these students and generations of future artists and scholars with the outstanding programs and facilities they deserve.”

OCSA has partnered with architect John Sergio Fisher Associates, with offices in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, to create the vision for its sweeping campus expansion. The firm has completed multiple theater projects, including the Los Angeles Music and Art School.

“Our inspiration for the design was developed through a participatory process including school leadership, faculty, staff and parents,” said Martin Howard, CEO and president of Howard CDM, in a statement.

Howard, who is also an OCSA parent and school construction consultant, added, “One of the most exciting things about this building is that the main façade will continually change with photographs of dancers, performers or artwork printed on large scrims. This makes the building truly dynamic and innovative. It is a piece of living art.”

The campaign has already raised $9.5 million, and construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2014. Completion is tentatively planned for summer 2015.