DLR Group Selected for Performing Arts Design at Two California Colleges

Internationally known for its innovative design and forward-thinking approach in arts education, DLR Group has been selected to provide design services for two higher education campuses in Southern California. The two replacement projects include new performing arts facilities at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa and El Camino College in Torrance.

modern building with trees in the backgroundA new performing arts center at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California. Image by DLR Group. 

DLR Group’s design for a new performing arts center at Crafton Hills College will provide a modern venue for educational spaces, as well as a state-of-the-art auditorium and stage facility to better meet the needs of students and the surrounding community. The auditorium will include a lobby and outdoor terrace; a 300-seat auditorium with orchestra pit; black box theater; and backstage facilities such as dressing rooms, green room, offices, storage, woodshop, and costume shop. The complex will be equipped with next-generation theater technology and acoustics, and serve a variety of events for music and student performances. The project will target LEED Gold Certification and net-zero energy use to serve as an innovative case study for sustainability in the arts. Crafton Hills College is part of the San Bernardino Community College District.

At El Camino College, DLR Group’s design for a new music and theater building will continue a strong tradition of the arts on campus by creating new opportunities for collaboration and growth in the program. Currently more than 65 years old, the existing music building is limited by the technology, systems, and infrastructure to support modern music and theater instruction programs. DLR Group is designing a transformative new facility that provides students with the latest amenities and technology for music and theater needs, while also creating an upgraded audience experience for members of the community. The facility will house a proscenium theater, recital hall, black box studio theater, and an array of performance support, student collaboration spaces, and practice rooms. The design will embrace the campus master plan by providing students with connections to outdoor spaces, informal gathering areas, and new transparency to arts education by exposing the practice and rehearsal spaces to the campus and community. A common outdoor courtyard will serve as a gathering spot for students and an informal outdoor performance stage to showcase the talent of the program to the broader campus. The new building will be a model of sustainability by capturing daylighting and views, and responding directly to user wellness while minimizing energy use as an example project on campus.

“DLR Group delivers award-winning performing arts designs that meet the specific needs of each institution and user group. We are thrilled to partner with Crafton Hills College and El Camino College to enhance their facilities and enrich the experience for performing arts and music students for many generations to come,” said DLR Group Principal Leigh Anne Jones, AIA.

The Crafton Hills College project is scheduled to begin construction in May 2022 with an estimated completion date of March 2024. It is funded through state and local monies, including the voter-approved Measure CC. The El Camino project is scheduled to begin construction in August 2022 with an estimated completion date of August 2024. It is funded through state and local monies, including the voter-approved Measure E.