El Molino High School performing arts center in Sonoma County wins Top Real Estate Projects in the North Bay Awards

El Molino High School’s new 9,000 square foot Performing Arts Center, with capacity for 301 seats, was completed in August 2020, filling a long-awaited need for a special place to showcase the school’s drama, band and dance performances.

In the past, the school’s cafeteria had become known as the “Cafetorium,” literally splitting the room in half to make room for makeshift stadium seating for the audience.

When funds became available through Measure I in 2010, the West Sonoma County Union High School District turned to Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) to design a proper and beautiful space for arts productions, assemblies, and community use.

Built by GCCI Builders in two phases, estimated costs totaled $7,612,675 for phase I and $4,136,215 for phase II.

Phase I included a stage with pipe grid for prop and lighting support and cross-over space, ticket sale area and light locks at entry points with a roof canopy; technical ledge at mezzanine level with control room, support rooms, cat-walk, stair and accessible lift. Mechanical, electrical, theatrical systems as well as fire protection and fire sprinklers were also installed along with exterior mechanical and electrical yard and exterior improvements (ornamental fence) and related site work.

Phase II involved modernizing back-of-house areas including additional space for covered main entry area, lobby area, concessions and tickets, accessible restrooms for men and women; support rooms for storage and electrical, along with upgrades to existing spaces to provide program support for dressing rooms, green room and additional bathrooms.

The new construction consisted of 1,700 square feet and the modernized area is approximately 4,500 square feet.

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