The Orange County High School of the Arts – or OCHSA – is set to purchase the OC Pavilion in Santa Ana from Michael Harrah for $13 million as part of its efforts to expand its campus.
Courtesy of ocpavilion.com
The 500-seat state-of-the-art theater will become the school's "premier performance venue," according to Dr. Ralph Opacic, president and executive director of the educational facility. The venue's restaurant, Ambrosia, will be relocating to another property in Santa Ana.
The addition will boost OCHSA's campus by about 50,000 square feet, for a total of 260,000 square feet. And, most importantly, the school will no longer have to utilize facilities throughout O.C. and Long Beach for its more than 100 performances and 11 conservatories a year, according to Opacic.
He said the decision to purchase the OC Pavilion provides the school with a "fiscally prudent alternative" that will offer a speedier impact to its students – building a similar venue would cost the school three times the $13 million purchase price.
Additionally, the deal comes at a time when OCHSA has been experiencing what Opacic calls "record" student enrollment and requires additional space to accommodate its students.
"This year we auditioned more than 1,600 really great students, nearly double the number of student applicants we had the previous year, and were only able to accept about 450 of them due to our somewhat limited facilities," he said. "There is clearly a high demand for the quality programs and unique culture we offer here, and with more space, we can accept more students and hire more teachers."
The school plans to close escrow and take ownership of the theater this fall, when OCHSA expects to have 1,550 students in grades seven through 12 from 120 cities throughout Southern California.
"This acquisition represents an important step in our long-term strategy to provide the highest quality facilities that our student artists need and deserve," finished Opacic. "I am confident that this property acquisition will benefit all of our students for many years to come."
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