January 5, 2018 - The Sonoma County Junior College District, more commonly known as the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), is pleased to announce a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, January 9, at 2:00 p.m., for the first major capital improvement project of the District’s Measure H bond, a renovation of the Luther Burbank Auditorium, now nearly 80 years old. The $28,000,000 project will completely renovate the interior of the 400-seat auditorium, with improved sight lines and full ADA access. Improvements to back-of-house production spaces will include a renovated prop shop and full costume production facility, in addition to two new classrooms. The project will include a new “Studio Theater,” a multi-function flexible space that will be used as a 200-seat teaching classroom, a black box theater, and a movie theater. The exterior shell of the building will be preserved, but the interior spaces will be completely modern, allowing the theater faculty more flexibility in the types of programs they offer. Overhead lighting and audio-visual equipment will be state of the art and designed to match the standards that SRJC students will expect to find when they work in the industry.
The project was designed by the award-winning architecture firm Mark Cavagnero Associates, with theater consulting provided by the Shalleck Group. Local firm TLCD Architecture serves as the Executive Architect for the project, with Wright Contracting from Santa Rosa as the General Contractor. Harris and Associates are providing construction management services. The groundbreaking of this first Measure H project kicks off the college’s 100th year anniversary celebration. Superintendent and President Dr. Frank Chong noted, “This extraordinary design will complement the work of our outstanding theater programs and will bring a new generation of theater lovers to the college. We could not be more proud of the 100 year legacy of SRJC, and the renovated Burbank Theater will allow our students to share their incredible talent with the SRJC community for the next 100 years.”
Department Chair Leslie McCauley added, “This project is the culmination of many years of advocacy and vision, and we are thrilled to be so close to seeing the vision completed. A modern theater will provide a foundation for our students to enter the workforce, but more importantly, we hope to provide our students with the confidence to pursue their dreams – theater has a way of doing that.”
SRJC encompasses more than 1,600 square miles from southern Mendocino County to northern Marin County. The District is bounded to the west by the Pacific Ocean and the east by Napa and Lake Counties, and is the 11th oldest of California’s 114 publicly funded two-year colleges and one of the largest. SRJC includes two campuses in Sonoma County: a 100+ acre campus in the heart of Santa Rosa and a modern 40-acre campus in Petaluma. SRJC also includes the regional Public Safety Training Center in Windsor, the 365-acre Shone Farm near Forestville, the B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center, and the Southwest Santa Rosa teaching site. With approximately 3,000 employees, it is one of Sonoma County’s largest employers. The college is celebrating its 100 year anniversary throughout 2018.