The first day of school at on Thursday was like unwrapping a giant new present.
“It looks like a museum!” one girl squealed.
“What the heck is this,” said some boys at a giant computer screen in an outdoor hallway.
More than 1,500 students gathered at the Studio City campus in front of the new n building that was more than a decade in the planning and cost more than $45 million to build. Like the groundbreaking in November 2010, the temperatures were exceptionally hot.
Some of the speakers there, who were at the groundbreaking too, like Paul Krekorian and Wendy Greuel, mentioned that fact.
The building has two dance studios, a production studio, arts classrooms, computers, photo lab, darkroom, movie theater, art gallery and many other classrooms specifically dedicated to the arts.
“It’s a really special building,” said Lexi Mohr who helped bless the building with Episcopal Bishop Diane Brown and a Kindergarten student, Miles. “The new classrooms are beautiful and the photography room is five times bigger than the old one.”
“This is a transformational moment in our school’s 68-year history,” said Headmaster Rev. Canon Julian Bull. “We are excited to offer our faculty and students a state-of-the-art immersive multimedia and technologically advanced learning environment, creating a legacy for our own families and generations to come.”
The Arts & Education Center is a 111,000 sq ft complex comprising three two-story connected buildings. It includes:
- Leading edge recording studio, video production and editing facilities;
- Classrooms dedicated to support music, dance, theatre, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, journalism, creative writing, and more;
- Six additional general purpose classrooms;
- Art Gallery for student and public art shows and events;
- LEED Gold Certified green building and facilities that reflect a commitment to environmental sustainability;
- Improved traffic and pedestrian patterns on Laurel Canyon Blvd;
- Subterranean parking.
“Our commitment to sustainability further confirms our pledge to building energy efficient buildings that are more cost effective to operate and that ultimately provide students with healthier learning environments,” said Rev. Bull.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance approaches.
Designed by Gensler, an architectural firm renowned for its expertise in education design and innovative sustainability practices, the project merited the Westside Urban Forum Design award for the architecture and design of Campbell Hall’s Arts & Education Center. The Westside Urban Forum Design Awards recognize LA-based projects, programs, policies, and academic studies that demonstrate excellence in city and community building – work that addresses the issues of planning for and building a livable future.
"This puts Studio City on the map among world-class architecture and design as well," Dr. Bull said.
Studio City Residents Association's Alan and Beth Dymond, Studio City Neighborhood Council's Richard Niederberg, members of the mayor's office and others were in attendance.
Theresia Cunningham was the Campbell Hall high school principal and worked at the school for two decades. She retired in 2005 and said, “This building has been a long time coming, and it is beautiful. What is incredible is that the people keep coming back.”
See the video of the speakers and the students as well as a full photo gallery of the building.