Group makes big push for Performing Arts Center

RANCHO SANTA FE — Fundraising efforts are under way in a big way for a new Rancho Santa Fe Performing Arts Center, part of the R. Roger Rowe School renovation. The fundraising committee, headed by Bibbi Connor, Carol Warren and Allison Stratton, raised awareness at a recent Community Concerts event held Oct. 9.
“The response was overwhelming,” Connor said. “Our cell phones were ringing like crazy. We received $5,000 that evening.”
The fundraising committee is attempting to raise $1.6 million to $2 million for the Performing Arts Center. Any monies raised above that amount will be used as an endowment, to help pay for maintenance, upkeep, and perhaps to pay a salary for someone in charge until the center is self-sustaining.
“This is a front-loaded campaign,” Warren said. In the coming weeks, the committee will be sending out pamphlets to residents of Rancho Santa Fe asking for donations. The pamphlets include testimonials from locals such as former Association President Marie Addario, Jan Clark (representing the Community Concerts Series) and comedian Tim Conway. There will be a Donor’s Wall at the Performing Arts Center designed by Tim Holcombe of Holcombe Designs that will name significant donors.
The fundraising committee gave a progress report to the school board directors at the Nov. 5 board meeting. Superintendent Lindy Delaney also reported that meetings have taken place recently with lighting and interior designers. She said that it will be possible for the center to seat as many as 406 individuals for special events — and seat 300 otherwise. Steps are being taken to ensure that requirements of touring companies and other performance groups will be met. Specific lighting, pianos, and other technical equipment are frequently called for and the fundraising committee wants to make sure that the center meets those requirements. It plans to raise money to secure that equipment.
At the same meeting, Project Manager Tim Ireland of Gafcon also gave an update on the new school renovation. “We’re now 30 percent complete,” he said. “We’re a little bit behind schedule, but we can make it up.” Ireland explained that once the steel and concrete is up, it’s possible to regain lost momentum. Ireland said that they build flexibility into their schedule. “We’re not that far behind.” Ireland also said that 95 percent of all subcontractors have been hired.
Delaney reported to school board directors that discussions have taken place recently between the school and the county Sheriff’s Department. Delaney felt that during the recent lockdown that communications between the Sheriff’s Department and the school could have been better. “We’re working with the Sheriff’s Department to improve the situation for the future,” she said.
The school has also talked to all teachers, as Delaney felt some teachers didn’t take the lockdown as seriously as they should have. “We don’t want to put any of our students at risk,” she said.

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