Fundraising begins for Performing Arts Center

RANCHO SANTA FE — The renovation of the R. Roger Rowe School includes the new Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art facility that will accommodate up to 400 people. But the ambitious project requires support and funding from the community in order to become a reality. Bibbi Connor and Carol Warren are co-chairing a committee to help raise funds in the community for the special facility.
“We’re very excited,” Warren said. “This is a win/win for the students and the community. We all have an appreciation of the arts.”
The fundraising committee hopes to raise $2 million in an attempt to fund the center. Warren said many organizations in Rancho Santa Fe wanted to be involved. “We’ve talked to Mainly Mozart, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and Rancho Santa Fe Community Concerts and they’re all very excited about this.” Connor and Warren gave a presentation to the Rancho Santa Fe School Board, outlining their strategy in an attempt to get their blessings to move forward.
Not only did Connor and Warren receive encouragement from the board, but also a commitment of $10,000 to help offset printing costs and money to pay organizer Leslie DeGoler. There will be a big push to raise money between October 2009 and January 2010. Warren, who works closely with the Rancho Santa Fe Community Concerts program, stated that any person who donated $1 million would be named a benefactor and any contributors who donated more than $500,000 would have a room named in their honor. School board President Carlie Headapohl was concerned that donors who gave large sums would feel entitled to free services at the Community Center and Warren and Connor assured the board that rules and stipulations would be presented to potential donors. It was also noted that no alcohol can be served at the Performing Arts Center as it’s on school grounds, so this may affect the practices of some groups, such as the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, a group that serves wine during its concert.
At the Oct. 1 school board meeting, the board also took time to honor students who achieved a perfect score of 600 on their STAR Math Test. These students were:
Grade 4
— Isabel Enriquez, Eric Erdossy, Breana Nguyen, Michael Rattner, Jackson Tuck and Clay Witmeyer
Grade 5
— Nicole Buss, Lauren Flaming, Erin Harrington, Tiffany He-Zhang, Erin McBurnett, Kevin Moore, Elizabeth Russell and Albert Shepherd
Grade 6
— James Aldelhelm, Emily Graham, Eli Lerner, Noah Leung, Griffin McComb and Hannah Williams
Grade 7
— Shea Botkiss, David Glaser, Alexi Stein and Andrew Taggart
Blake Djavaherian, grade 6, and Peter Lillian, grade 7, both achieved a perfect score of 600 on their STAR Math tests and the ELA tests.
“You’re all role models and you should be very proud,” Superintendent Lindy Delaney said. After the students received their certificates of merit, they were asked to meet school board members. “Look them in the eye and give them a firm handshake,” Delaney instructed.
Tim Ireland, project manager, then gave board members an update on the school renovation. According to Ireland, everything is still on schedule although last minute changes are always challenges. Suggestions made by the art jury are causing construction workers to rethink the project and costs involved.
Assistant Superintendent Cindy Schaub also gave an update on the STAR Test Results, voicing concerns that this year the school dropped from the top 1 percent of the state down to the top 1.5 percent. Schaub plans to review priorities and rethink challenges that affect students struggling with math.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 5.

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