Rancho Santa Fe residents embrace new Performing Arts Center; Donations still needed for completion


By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

It may be missing a curtain on its deep, wide stage and the seats are temporary folding chairs, but Rancho Santa Fe’s new Performing Arts Center (PAC) on the R. Roger Rowe School campus is still a beautiful space. Voices echo in the wonderful acoustics, as heard during a Community Concerts of RSF performance by Nashville singer Billy Dean on Oct. 20. Two weeks ago, the stage was transformed into a French village for its first production, the RSF Community Center’s “Beauty and the Beast,” and the first school assembly was held in the “PAC” on Oct. 27.

“It’s a little surreal,” said Rancho Santa Fe School District Superintendent Lindy Delaney of the PAC, keeping in mind that just a few months ago the building was still very much under construction. “There’s been a tremendous amount of interest from a variety of different groups who want to use the PAC because of its location and size. It’s already starting to build a name for itself.”

While the PAC is available for use, there is still a long way to go before final completion. The school is still about $900,000 short of its $2 million fundraising goal for the PAC.

The PAC still needs its curtain, premier lighting and sound system (currently they just have the basic school sound and lighting system), risers and seats.

To help complete the PAC, the Rancho Santa Fe School District is promoting a new fundraising drive called the Club 324. For a $1,000 donation, people can buy a seat and become a part of the PAC—their name will be placed on a plaque on the back of the new soft, cozy, 20-inch-wide theater seat. The goal is to sell all 324 seats, which will sit on stadium-style risers and be able to be rolled out for events.

By keeping the seats temporary, it allows the school flexibility to have a flat floor for other school functions that will be held in the PAC space.

“We started selling them about two months ago and we’ve had some interest,” said Delaney. “We want to make the opportunity available to anybody in the community.”

“The chairs are a great way to leave a legacy at the school,” echoed Anna Lillian, a PAC committee member.

In addition to the Club 324, the school also has a building fund. For a $5,000 donation, donors will receive a plaque on the donor wall, which will be located on the outside of the building near one of the fountains.

PAC committee member Carol Warren said that it has been a long time coming for Rancho Santa Fe to have such a state-of-the-art facility that will be able to benefit so many different user groups.

“This is a wonderful new addition to our school and our community,” said Warren.

To donate to Club 324, contact Christy Wilson at the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, (858) 756-6557. Checks can be made out to the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, PO Box 811, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, 92067.