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Re-opening of Cultural Arts Center at Carlsbad High School - Maintenance Projects Completed, Proposal for Full Renovation Expected in August
Posted 6/4/19

The Carlsbad Unified School District is pleased to announce the re-opening of the Cultural Arts Center (CAC) at Carlsbad High School. The following improvements have been completed:

  • Replaced first floor flooring in the lobby, tech booth, ticket booth

  • Replaced second floor flooring in the dressing rooms, costume lab, office

  • First floor paint - ticket booth, lobby, bathrooms, theater, tech booth, green room

  • Second floor paint - hallway, stairwells, office, dressing rooms

  • Replaced inoperable water fountain with a water bottle filling station

  • Removed damaged and non-functional soundproof material in the tech booth

  • Relocated thermostat to the theater (from the tech booth)

  • Installed directional signage in the lobby

  • Installed LED lighting in the lobby

  • Removed the fireplace backdrop from the stage area

  • Installed new fire-resistant stage curtains for fire safety and code compliance

  • Repaired four audience chairs

  • Installed appropriate shelving in the second floor prop closet

  • Separated male and female dressing rooms on the second floor by building a wall with a door between the two

  • Replaced modesty curtains in the second floor dressing rooms

  • Replaced theater’s presentation projector

  • Replaced inoperable televisions with streaming capabilities

  • Deep cleaned the whole building


The improvements above can be described as “maintenance projects.” A proposed full modernization of the CAC will be presented to the Board of Trustees this summer.


In February 2018, a code compliance modernization of the CAC was approved by the Board of Trustees, pending approval by California’s Division of the State Architect. The intended scope of work focused on Americans with Disabilities (ADA) required improvements and code compliance modifications related to select structural, electrical, fire, life, safety, access, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) areas. Specifically, the work included:

  • Improving ADA access to the ticket booth and staff office

  • Reconfiguring the lobby staircase and ADA ramp for access to the theater

  • Reconfiguring the lobby restrooms

  • removal of approximately 37 seats in the theater to accommodate ADA access and seating

  • Installation of new fire-resistant stage curtains

  • ADA access to the stage and orchestra pit via installation of a wheelchair lift from the theater

  • Installation of an elevator for ADA access to the second floor

  • Second-floor improvements focused on making the dressing rooms and restrooms ADA compliant

  • Relocating the green room from the downstairs to the upstairs


All school construction projects are required to be reviewed and approved by the Division of the State Architect (DSA). DSA added considerable (and costly) compulsory scope to the CAC project during the course of their review in late 2018. DSA mandated the District change the footings of, and rebuild, a 73-foot exterior wall to better structurally support the CAC. Additionally, DSA required reinforcing the footings of a large interior shear wall adjacent to the proposed reconfigured stairs and ramp. These two additions added approximately $2.1 million in costs to the CAC project, from $3.5 million to $5.6 million.


In January 2019, the Board of Trustees did not approve the expenditure of an additional $2.1 million for the required upgrades. In February 2019, the Board of Trustees approved the “maintenance projects” described above and directed staff to bring back a proposal for full modernization of the CAC, including code compliance modifications and DSA-required upgrades as well as other improvements. Staff intends to bring that proposal back to the Board of Trustees at the August 21, 2019 meeting.