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Historic Newhall School District Project Begins
Outside Newhall Elementary School’s auditorium March 4, Newhall School District and Lundgren Management officials broke ground on a renovation project that will bring the Art Deco building into the modern age while preserving its legacy.
Lundgren is the construction manager for the $4.8 million project. Work will begin this month, and is planned to wrap up by the end of the year. This is the school district’s final project funded by voter-approved Measure E.
About 50 people attended the event, which culminated in the hoisting of shovelfuls of dirt from ceremonial golden shovels. Attendees also heard from district officials Ronna Wolcott, assistant superintendent for business; district board President Suzan Solomon; and board member Christy Smith. Also at the groundbreaking were Santa Clarita officials including City Council members Laurene Weste, Marsha McLean and TimBen Boydston; and Arts Commission member Patti Rasmussen. The four have been among the renovation project’s longtime community supporters over the past 20 years.
Also attending was former District Superintendent Dr. Marc Winger, who retired at the beginning of 2015, and who laid a great deal of groundwork for the project. Following the ceremony, attendees had the opportunity to tour the building.
The auditorium was built in 1941 and has served primarily as storage space since the 1970s. A glimpse inside the structure reveals a relatively blank slate for the renovation project. When complete, it will include state-of-the-art audio/visual capabilities, energy-efficient lighting, expanded stage space, improved acoustics and seating for 546. The project will also include the addition of a new outside patio suitable for event receptions.
“With the groundbreaking, the project definitely becomes ‘real’ and the clock starts ticking,” said Shawn Fonder, Lundgren’s vice president of program and client services. “We are so proud to be involved with this bond program and we are looking forward to continuing our track record of completing projects on time and on budget. We are excited to be part of transforming this building so it can once again be a vibrant performance space for students and the community.”
As construction manager, Lundgren will work closely with all of the project stakeholders including the school district, design and inspection team and all of the contractors to ensure clear and collaborative communication throughout the process to ensure that the work is completed on time and on budget.
The head of the Newhall School District said Lundgren is a valued partner for the project.
“Lundgren has been with us along the way for numerous projects and we are pleased that the firm will manage this final project under Measure E,” Newhall District Superintendent Paul Cordeiro said. “Renovation of the auditorium is the culminating project of multiple years of voter-approved Measure E building projects. It is fitting that the auditorium will not only become a performance venue for all Newhall district students, but also a venue for the entire community, hosting a wide variety of the performing arts with a focus on young performers.”
For more information, call Lundgren Management at (661) 257-1805. The school district also maintains an informational website at www.raisingthecurtain.org.