Santa Rosa’s Luther Burbank Center for the Arts to reopen Nov. 6 after fires

On Nov. 1, 2017, workers install PVC pipes to the rerouted cold-water loop that feeds air-handlers at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts north of Santa Rosa. The piping was damaged in the Tubbs fire in early October. (Cytnhia Sweeney/North Bay Business Journal)

CYNTHIA SWEENEY,

The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts has announced it plans to reopen Nov. 6.

During the confusion of the wildfires which devastated Sonoma County, it was mistakenly reported that the Luther Burbank Center had burned down. That wasn’t the case.

“The perception is we’re closed, but that’s because of ongoing construction. It’s part of the rebuild,” said Anne Abrams, director of marketing. Previous to the fires, the center was undergoing phase 2 of a $4.7 million renovation that is adding elevators and accessibility upgrades. Hence, windows were boarded up.

The arts center did suffer damage, about 30,000 square feet, primarily to classrooms and workshops. The main theater was left intact.

Perhaps the saddest loss was to the instrument-lending library, where 200 instruments were damaged. Their value is estimated at $120,000. New donations are being accepted at the center and by the Santa Rosa Symphony.

Also burned were landscape and old-growth redwood sculptures on the east side of the center. The center was without power for two weeks and water for several days.

After the fire crews left the scene, staff continued for several days to put out hotspots that kept igniting around the property, using the facility’s more than 300 fire extinguishers and what was left of the water, said Marc Hagenlocher, director of operations.

The entire facility has been cleaned for smoke damage.

The center is currently rescheduling and confirming future programs.

The first show after the opening will be Shopkins, a family-friendly show on Nov. 9, followed by Air Supply on Nov. 11.

The center will announce on Nov. 3 a number of free tickets available for victims of the fire. Various benefits are also being planned for the near and distant future.

“With the shows, the educational programs, the farmer’s market, art shows, wedding expo and pumpkin patch, the center is the heart and soul of the community,” said Paul Wilcock, chairman of the board. “We are a catalyst bringing the community together, and we’ll be trying even harder now.”

Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at Cynthia.Sweeney@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.