Unveiling of the Performing Arts Center Delayed


Jennifer Baxter

Construction site for the performing arts center.

Nicolas Reynoso, Staff Writer

All the world’s a stage or, for Sage Creek High School, it will be – eventually.

An email was sent out to the school confirming what many already suspected:  the construction of the Sage Creek Performing Arts Center has hit a sizable delay. The estimated date of completion has been pushed from December of 2017 to sometime in the summer of 2018.  

All work scheduled for the summer was completed successfully, but recent changes in the construction market have increased the budget beyond the maximum allotment.

“One of the fluctuations was a tariff being placed on steel imported from China,” said Principal Cesar Morales.  “It was over a 500 percent increase.”

Additionally, Assembly Bill 219 became effective July 1, 2016.  This bill changed the way drivers delivering ready-made concrete are paid under CA law.  These changes in regulations increased the labor costs for the project by 5-7 percent.   

Focus has now shifted to bringing the budget back into line with the Preliminary Guaranteed Maximum of $11 million dollars.  

“[The school board is considering] how do we take that new cost into account and what details or elements for the projects need to be reduced or redesigned in order for us to account for the new overhead and still get the performing arts center our students deserve,” Morales said.

When originally designed, the theater was planned to be a 350 seat auditorium with a black box theater and a very deep orchestra pit.  In considering the design changes which will inevitably be required to bring the project back under budget, focus remains on keeping the theater the same number of seats.

“One of the things [we are looking at] is do we change what was a very deep orchestra pit,” Morales said.  “Maybe it’s not as deep, which then reduces some of the costs…there are different elements which are going to be considered for sure.”

When asked about the community response to news of the delay, Mr. Morales responded, “We as a community are looking forward to having a state of the art facility on our campus to showcase our great actors, our artists and musicians…some people were saddened, frustrated…I think that is a natural response…we are looking forward to the day we get to open those doors.”

Mr. Morales offered his opinion that the delay would ultimately have minimal impact.

“It is designed to be a great venue, so that whatever takes place in there [will be] a great experience for the audience and guests.”

When asked about her opinion of the delay, Sage Creek High theater teacher Jillian Porter commented, “…People have been pretty positive and just knowing there will be a theater someday is exciting and just a privilege for any drama program in general, so you gotta count your blessings I guess.”

Despite the delay and redesign, Porter remains optimistic for the future.

“I don’t think it will have an effect on the theatre program.  We are strong. Mighty…I don’t think having a theater will impact the value of our productions, the quality..I think that more important than a venue is attitude. Our theatre program has a stellar attitude.”

Both Morales and Porter commented that ultimately, the decisions on how any delays or redesigns are handled is a decision made at the district level.  

According to Porter, “I do get updates…but it is more of a district issue than something I have a say in.”

Faculty members agree that the delay is unfortunate, and this opinion seems to be mirrored by students as well.

“It’s a bummer that I won’t be able to perform in it,” theater student Brett Paulson said. “It’s going to come out after I graduate, so I’m kind of upset for that.”