Allan Hancock College is about to undergo a major addition, one that will cost almost $50 million.
On Sept. 30, Hancock officially broke ground on its new Fine Arts Complex at the Santa Maria campus. The college kicked off construction of the $48 million facility with a special ceremony that included Hancock administrators, members of the college’s board of trustees and representatives of the companies and community organizations that helped make the project possible.
“This facility is going to be a tremendous asset to our college and community,” Hancock Superintendent and President Kevin G. Walthers said in a school release. “We are going to be able to bring all of our media arts and all of our fine arts into one space and create a wonderful synergy for our students in those programs. This is going to be one of the largest projects we’ve ever undertaken at Hancock.”
The Fine Arts Complex will become a hub of creativity and learning at Hancock, according to the school’s news release. The two-story, 88,000 square-foot facility will include a 400-seat concert and recital venue. It will also house the college’s dance, drama, film, graphics, music, photography and multimedia arts and communications programs.
“Over half the students at AHC come through the fine arts department, and we are spread across the campus in six different buildings,” said John Hood, who is the school’s Fine Arts Department Chair. “To be able to have everyone in one beautiful building will be a dream come true. It will allow our students and faculty to collaborate and reach out even more into the community.”
Funding for the Fine Arts Complex was provided by the voter-approved Bond Measure I, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, and generous support from the estate of former Hancock faculty member Patricia Boyd.
Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2022.
According to Tracy Beard, the Measure I Citizens’ Oversight Committee Chair, a total of $23 million in Measure I bond funds are being applied to this project.
“This is good use of taxpayer funds,” Ms. Beard said in the school’s official release. “Over 90% of Hancock students are local, and this facility will host events, arts and cultural events that will be open to the public for decades to come. Hancock has long been a hub for art education and training, and this facility will ensure a vibrant economy in Santa Barbara County.”
For more information about Allan Hancock College’s Fine Arts Complex, visit bit.ly/AHCFineArts.