Since the February opening, the new SLV Performing Art Center (PAC) is up and running for student productions. We’ve had our grand opening, our benefit concert, the wonderful performance of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” and now our PAC continues to stand there, as it will for the generations of students to come. Its majestic, blockish shape; its off-white and brick-red paint, and tinted windows; the raised seating, trap door, catwalk, and professional backstage that make thespians sigh with joy; and that garish red sign that tells us the time, date and temperature as we drive by are all a permanent part of the San Lorenzo Valley High School. Remember when it was just a gleam in our collective eye?
Let’s start the story with the Measure O bond SLV voters approved in 2008, which granted our school $18.9 million toward renovations such as our new library, after the old one was burned down in 2006. Thanks to insurance money from the fire, and the construction being completed far under budget, there was significant surplus money, and sights turned to our old PAC. As upperclassmen and staff will remember, the old PAC was — may the dear thing rest in peace — just barely a PAC at all, and the decision was made to undertake the task of building an entirely new one.
The old PAC was demolished on August 2, 2013, leaving SLV without a performing arts center for a dark and confusing year and a half. Thanks to District Construction Manager Erik Slaughter and his crew, our new PAC is now up and running, and boy was it worth the wait.
“The new PAC is a fantastic improvement on the old facility. The larger house enables us to support the kinds of audiences I feel our shows deserve, and the lights are out of this world. But I have to say, being able to flush the toilets backstage without the audience hearing, that is the true gift,” says senior thespian Elise Whisler, expressing a sentiment shared by many.
We now have on our campus the best performing arts center in the valley, and it truly is a gift to our school and to our community. One last thank you to all those who participated in its planning and construction, and three cheers for the performing arts!
By Ben Hofvendahl, News writer