Valley PAC ‘silent’ fund-raising set to begin July 1

Deborah Reeves

The new Valley Performing Arts Center executive fund-raising committee will begin its work July 1 as the “silent phase” of the fund-raising process begins.

The Valley PAC, with an anticipated opening date of Fall 2009, will cost between $80 million and $100 million, according to William Toutant, dean for the College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

Though the new facility has only received $1 million in preliminary planning funds from the state, a new sign has already been placed on the proposed construction site adjacent to the Matador Bookstore and Cypress Hall, formerly the Music Building.

Catherine Reeves, director of the fund-raising campaign and CSUN vice president of University Advancement, said $1 million in planning funds has already been given to the university, with another state contribution — totaling about half of the entire cost of the new building — scheduled to come from a bond measure in 2006-07.

“We do have some money (we) received from the state,” Toutant said.

The other half of the construction costs are scheduled to come from a five-year fund-raising effort by the university, specifically by the Valley PAC Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee includes several business leaders from the Los Angeles area, including Clyde Porter, founder of the West Valley Playhouse, actor Richard “Cheech” Marin, and Stanley Gold, president and CEO of Shamrock Holdings.

The fund-raising part of the process begins July 1 with a silent phase, where fund-raisers begin to work with individual donors.

“It’s still early,” Reeves said.

When between half to two-thirds of the money is raised, the “community phase” will begin, which will look to raise the remainder of the funds, Toutant said.

The 1,600-seat main theatre will host shows, musicals and concerts.

Additionally, there are plans to have K-12 education programs held at the center on Saturday mornings, as well as youth-orientated summer performances.

The center will house classrooms, lab space, two theaters, and an art gallery. It will also be the new home of KCSN 88.5 FM, which is currently located in University Park Apartment Building 11.

“There isn’t anything like this here,” Reeves said. “This will be a landmark for the San Fernando Valley. We’re going to put CSUN on the map.”

Toutant said the new center’s features are what will make it so expensive.

Toutant also said there will be specific types of equipment in the center that necessitate care that needs funding, such as temperature control.