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San Luis High welcomes 1,000-seat auditorium
San Luis High School celebrated its 10th anniversary Monday evening with a ribbon cutting for its brand-new performing arts center.
The $5.5 million auditorium was funded through a $70 million Yuma Union High School District bond passed by voters in November 2005.
“We have the voters of our district to thank for the opportunity to build a state-of-the art performance facility right here in San Luis,” said YUHSD Superintendent Toni Badone. “When San Luis High School was built and open in 2002, it was the dream of our district and the students and the faculty and the community of San Luis to build a performing arts center and auditorium.”
Badone said they are very proud to be able to celebrate the grand opening of the 1,000-seat auditorium 10 years later.
“It's been less than a year from the groundbreaking in September to opening today, and it takes a team to accomplish something so beautiful and come in on time and under budget.”
She said Yuma High, the district's flagship school, opened in 1909 but did not get Snider Auditorium until 1929. Kofa High School opened in 1959 but did not get its auditorium until 1988. Cibola High School and its auditorium were built through a bond passed by voters in 1988.
San Luis High School on the other hand, she said, was built entirely through state school facility board funds.
“Voters of Yuma County improved a bond in 2005 that included an auditorium for San Luis High School, originally to be more similar to the Kofa and Cibola auditoriums, which seat approximately 500 people.”
Badone explained that the performing arts center is a technologically supported facility, including an automated rigging system, as well as choir and band rooms with practice rooms and musical instrument storage.
It was designed by local architect Chris Thompson of Patterson Thompson Architects, PC, and built by Adolfson & Peterson Construction. Badone added that over 75 percent of the work was completed by local subcontractors.
San Luis High School Principal Fran Rodriguez said the facility is bigger and better than they ever imagined it would be. “We're so proud of this new addition and all it means for our school and the community.”
National Honor Society and Student Council students conducted tours of the auditorium after the ceremony.
“It is really enjoyable to finally have an auditorium,” said junior class treasurer Melissa Mata, 16. “I'm in Student Council and every year we have a spirit conference and our Yuma County get-togethers where all the schools come here and meet. Now we can have bigger events and decorate more and it will be more enjoyable for all the schools to come here.”
Senior Giovanni Benvenutti, 17, said he is glad to be able to use the space during drama club this year.
“It's pretty exciting because we've never had something like this on campus, so it's a new experience for us.”
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.