A new two-story performing arts building will be the centerpiece of a renovated Renaissance High School for the Arts in downtown Long Beach.
The $28 million project, including renovations to four buildings and the addition of two more, is expected to begin next summer and will take about two years. Meanwhile students will be housed at nearby Butler School, which is currently vacant.
Renaissance, a visual and performing arts school, was opened in 2004 on the site where the first high school in Los Angeles County outside the City of Los Angeles was built in 1898. For several years, Renaissance students have demonstrated tremendous growth in academic achievement, making the school one of the district's top performing high schools.
“Renaissance High is one of the gems of our school district,” said Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser. “The talented performers, artists and scholars nurtured there deserve a modern facility that will enhance learning and be an important asset to the community.”
The school was completely rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire in 1918 and again by the Long Beach earthquake of 1933.
Under the current renovation plan, a new performing arts building, featuring a black box theater with telescoping bleachers and movable seating to accommodate up to 240 people, will be constructed.
The building will include a lobby, ticket and concession areas, public restrooms, dressing rooms, student restrooms, property room, two dance rooms and a library on the second floor.
Plans also call for a new physical education building, featuring boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, restrooms, showers, coaches’ offices and a dance room that could also serve as a regular classroom.
Building 200 will be remodeled with larger classrooms and an elevator and bridge to the second floor of the new performing arts building.
Renovation of the administration and science buildings will be minor because they were updated in the early 2000s.
The existing auditorium/cafeteria and portable buildings will be demolished.
The new cafeteria and kitchen will be relocated to the northern portion of building 400 where the school district’s Office of Media Services (OMS) is currently located. This building will be renovated to continue accommodating OMS and provide a separate, public entrance.