DUBLIN -- Dublin High School is inviting the public to check out the opening of its new state-of-the-art performing arts center, signifying the completion of another project in its schoolwide modernization plan that has so far spanned seven years.
The ribbon cutting begins at 6 p.m. Monday. Afterward, school officials will give tours of the new facility. Principal Carol Shimizu said the performing arts center is "the culminating project," in the plans to modernize the campus, which has basically amounted to rebuilding or renovating the entire high school.
"We consider it the crown jewel of the campus. It's an amazing facility," Shimizu said. "We're so grateful to the community; it's really made all the difference in the world to how students are able to learn."
In addition to housing plenty of practice rooms for band, choir and drama, the new center will have two video production rooms to teach multimedia skills, a recording studio, a computer lab, and a 500-seat theater with an orchestra pit.
District Superintendent Stephen Hanke said the theater will be used to house everything from classical music concerts and plays to student workshops or presentations from guest speakers.
"The center itself becomes a true learning opportunity for students, and a true center for education," Hanke said.
The high-tech facilities in the center will create an atmosphere that should contrast sharply with the pre-modernization era, said Shimizu. The school opened in 1968, and many of the buildings weren't exactly entering the 21st gracefully.
"We were to the point where we'd plug in a computer, or try to do something with a dedicated piece of technology, and the circuit breakers would go off and we'd have huge problems," Shimizu said. Construction of the new center, along with the rest of Dublin High's modernization undertakings, was funded by bond Measure C, which allocated $184 million to the Dublin district through school bonds. Of that, approximately $120 million was used to update Dublin High.
"With the growth we have in Dublin, it was even more critical that Measure C happened when it did," school board President Sean Kenney said. "It gave us the capabilities to take control of the growth, and keep us on track."
Measure C was approved by 73 percent of voters in 2004. Since then, voters approved Measure E in 2012, which allocated $99 million in bonds for modernization work not under Measure C's umbrella, and twice voted to approve and extend a parcel tax from 2008-2019.
"What you're seeing in my estimation is a community that really believes in and supports public education," Hanke said. "We are especially grateful for that. Our parents and our community really understand the value, and we think their investment in that makes a difference for kids."
Dublin High currently has 2,000 students, and Shimizu said she expects that level to grow to 2,500 in the next couple years, which is another reason why she says modernization of the whole campus was necessary.
"We were just out of classroom space," she said.
The final phase of Dublin High's modernization project, the renovation of the old gymnasium, will commence after classes end for the summer, and is expected to take about 15 months, Shimizu said.
The June 2 unveiling ceremony will commence on-site with a barbecue at 5 p.m., followed by the actual ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. and then tours. Dublin High is at 8151 Village Parkway.
What: Opening of Dublin High School theater complex
When: Monday; 5 p.m. barbecue, 6 p.m. ribbon cutting, followed by tours.
Where: Dublin High School, 8151 Village Parkway, Dublin