When she walked into the Performing Arts Education Center at Calabasas High School this week, junior Alyssa Weakley said her eyes, and those of her classmates, lit up.
"We were all just in awe. You walk in and we all sit down for the first time and we look out and there is 600 plus seats and it's real seats," Weakley said.
The bass clarinet player was among 80 students, teachers, administrators, city officials and community members who attended a dedication ceremony Saturday morning at the new Performing Arts Education Center at Calabasas High.
Dan Stenosky, Las Virgenes Unified School District superintendent, said the performing arts center will serve as classrooms for students.
"The most special moment for me in that center was sitting in the fifth row and watching those students walk on the stage," Stenosky said. " ... They walk on the stage and they just stop, their eyes pop and that was a moment I will never forget."
LVUSD Board Member Cindy Iser said she was proud of the two centers.
"Today the curtain goes up on the district's last major Measure G construction project: This outstanding Performing Arts Education Center and its fraternal twin at Agoura High School," Iser said. "We are extremely excited today to be opening the doors to this magnificent building."
Calabasas High principal CJ Foss called the opening a momentous day.
"The arts teach 21st century skills," Foss said. "The arts teach teamwork, collaboration, innovation and celebration of culture of the world we live in."
Construction was recently completed on two $18 million each facilities, located on the Agoura Hills and Calabasas high school campuses. Both were entirely funded through Measure G, which passed in 2006.
The center, designed by architect John Sergio Fisher, houses a 650-seat main theater and the smaller 'black box' for educational classes and smaller productions. The state-of-the-art facility will offer the school district theater arts education, cross-curricular instruction, virtual programs, lectures, live presentations and more.
Box offices at both sites will offer tickets to either theater. For program information and to purchase tickets, go to the PAEC website.