El Camino High School's Visual and Performing Arts Center

Monday, April 4, 2016

Band Council dance-a-thon raises money for visual & performing arts center

The El Camino High Band Council held a “Dance-A-Thon” on Saturday, April 2 to raise funds for the furnishings and equipment budget of the new El Camino Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC). The Dance-A-Thon was truly a marathon that started at 6:00 p.m. and ended at 11:00 p.m., and included music from the 1950s through current pop. This was an original idea of the Band Council members, who are a group of students elected by their peers to represent and govern the band program, conduct social events and fundraiser, and be a direct liaison to Band Director Kevin Glaser.

There was a great turn out of El Camino students and even some parents from El Camino. The Dance-A-Thon raised $600 that will be used specifically for the furnishings and equipment of the VPAC that will not be provided as part of the construction costs.

The El Camino Band Council challenges other campus clubs and community groups to also raise funds for the equipment and furnishings budget of the VPAC that is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2018.

Three cheers for the Band Council!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Drum roll please -- bass drum funded!

About two weeks ago we published a wish list of furnishings and equipment for El Camino's new performing arts center. This week, we are delighted to report a gift of $1,000 to fund our bass drum in honor of band alumnus Michael Slater, Class of 2011.

Please join us in thanking the Slater family for their generosity and commitment to the performing arts at El Camino High School.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Shop Amazon. Give to ecARTS

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the furnishings and equipment fund of the new El Camino High School Performing Arts Center, at no cost to you!

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com. The added bonus is Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the El Camino High School Performing Arts Center.

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to El Camino's direct link (Perform at ECArts, Inc.) from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. Be sure to bookmark the link to make it even easier to return.

Support our furnishings and equipment fund every time you shop Amazon!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Performing arts center to open doors spring of 2018 | Fundraising begins for furnishings

Following a vote on February 9th, San Juan Unified District staff and the school site are now moving forward on a state-of-the-art performing arts center at El Camino Fundamental High School.  The bidding process will begin in March and conclude by June 2016.  We anticipate construction to begin in February 2017, with doors opening in the spring of 2018.

While the final design may include some alterations, a user group including band director Kevin Glaser, choir teacher David Vanderbout, and ECHS parents and students developed a list of components to be included in the performing arts center.  The theater will include 500 fixed seats (with room for approximately 100 extra chairs to be set up to accommodate larger crowds), a large stage, and dressing rooms.  The project design also includes a lobby, backstage area, theater lighting, restrooms, and a control room.  Acoustical engineers will be consulted to maximize sound quality in the building.

The 11,593-square-foot building will be constructed within the current senior parking lot.  The lobby will have space to display artwork, a merchandise concession area, ticket booth and men’s and women’s restrooms, and current designs include a covered outdoor area that will serve as an extension of the lobby.

Future enhancements could include new shop classrooms, enhanced street access to the performing arts center, and beautification of the landscaping to increase curb appeal. 

Ten million dollars in Measure N funds will go toward building the performing arts center itself.  However, all the elements that go into staging a concert or production will not be included.  Therefore, a fundraising committee is hard at work, dreaming up ways to raise funds to purchase all the items we’ll need to put on a good show.  (The committee has also been looking at possible grants for this purpose, and the performing arts center will remain on the list for future STARS donations.) 

Would you like to help?  The ecARTS committee welcomes new members!  Watch this space for announcements about upcoming meetings.

Donations are also gladly accepted, whether they are general contributions or donations for specific item.  Here are some of the items we'll need, along with their estimated costs. Please spread the word!

Stage Equipment
  • Music Stands $2,500
  • Choral Risers $3,500
  • Stage Risers $5,000
  • Stage Shells $10,000
  • Conductor Podium and Music Stand $2,000
  • Musician Chairs (stage and pit orchestra) $7,000
Large, non-portable instruments
  • Timpani $15,000
  • Bass Drum $1,000
  • Mallets (xylophone, marimba, vibraphone) $15,000
  • Grand Piano $80,000
Support Equipment
  • Make-up Tables and Mirrors $500
  • Costume Racks and Storage $500
  • Shop Equipment for Set Design $5,000
Box Office and Manager's Office Equipment 
  • Desk, shelves, computer with ticket sale software, printer, copier $6,000
Concession Appliances and Equipment
  • Refrigerator, microwave, soda dispenser, popcorn machine $4,000
Gallery Equipment
  • Pedestals and Movable Walls $3,000
Three easy ways to donate:

  1. Click the DONATE button above and to the right
  2. Send a check payable to ecARTS to Kevin Glaser, El Camino High School, 4300 El Camino Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95821.
  3. Contact Kevin Glaser at kglaser@sanjuan.edu or (916) 971-7449. 

Keep up on El Camino's project and all Measure N signature projects at www.sanjuan.edu/hsprojects.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Performing Arts Center news

Good news regarding El Camino’s performing arts center! Principal Shelly Friery and Kevin Glaser met with district officials to establish a proposed timeline for our project:

  • Send out a Request for Proposals -- February 2016
  • Select a contractor/architect -- March 2016
  • Break ground -- summer 2017
  • PAC opens -- summer of 2018 

In the meantime, the Fund Raising Committee will raise $170,000 for interior furnishings not covered by our bond measure funds. We would appreciate your help in getting the word out. To make a gift, either:

  • Click the "Donate" link to the right, or
  • Send a check payable to ecARTS to Kevin Glaser, El Camino High School, 4300 El Camino Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95821.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

ecARTS General Meeting Change

El Camino is excited that our women’s volleyball team is now in the playoffs and picked to win the State Championship. The team is scheduled to play at EC on Tuesday, November 11th and Thursday, November 13th.

The participation of the El Camino Pep Band at these games is a priority!

For this reason, the ecARTS General meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, November 12th, 7:00pm, in the El Camino Band room.

Thank you for understanding.  Hope to see you at the meeting (and the volleyball games).

Friday, October 17, 2014

Performing Arts Center needs $5 million more. Vote carefully for new SJUSD board members.

On Monday, October 13 the El Camino community (including feeder schools) hosted several San Juan Unified School District representatives, two incumbent board members, and a few board candidates to discuss possible Measure N signature projects.

The meeting opened with over 150 students from EC, Deterding, and Arcade playing the Hey song. Students revised the customary chant lyrics, and El Camino’s Screaming Eagle together with the students and the audience sent District personnel an unequivocal message:

We want a theatre!
A mighty, mighty theatre.
Everywhere we go.
We put on a show.
But they’re in our gyms!
That’s why we tell you.
We want a theatre.
A mighty, mighty theatre.

For those of you who missed the meeting, community members, current, former and prospective parents, alumni, and current students expressed confusion and frustration at the District’s handling of El Camino’s signature project and its lack of progress two years after Measure N was approved. Thank you to those of you who were able to attend and support our vision. Thanks, too, to our supporters who courageously approached the microphone to accurately and passionately state our case.

We learned FOUR valuable pieces of information:

  1. Although the Board of Education has not yet voted on specifics, each high school in the district will likely receive $10 million to fund a signature project.
  2. In a significant departure from past information, the new District football field and track at EC will not be charged against EC’s signature project amount.
  3. After all of the community forums wrap up on November 5, district representatives will establish a budget for each high school’s project and state the priority for construction. The budgets and timelines will be presented to the Board in March 2015.
  4. Although ecARTS and the El Camino Community envision a new performing arts center as a facility that will be available to all our feeder schools and community, we have been directed by the school district to refer to this project as the El Camino High School Signature Project.

The cost of our performing arts center is hard to predict without having current plans in hand.

How you can help:

  1. Today is the start of our $5 million fund raising campaign. We need you to share with us the names and contact information of potential large donors ($10,000 - $1,000,000). It would be helpful if you or someone you know has a personal contact with each donor you suggest.  
  2. Attend the next ecARTS meeting on Thursday, November 13 @ 7:00 p.m. in the El Camino Band room. 
  3. Before you cast your vote for SJUSD board candidates on November 4, write each one an email to find out how they would vote on EC’s signature project. Two new trustees will decide the fate of our performing arts center. Candidates are:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

We need your voice on Oct. 13

Since 2010, ecARTS, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, has been committed to building a performing arts center on the campus of El Camino High School. Our goal is to have a facility that meets the visual and performing arts needs of all elementary, middle and high schools in our district. Our architectural design includes an art gallery, multi-use performance space, and seating for 600. The journey towards this dream has had many ups and downs. The bottom line is there is a need, the El Camino faculty and staff are 100% in support of this, and through Bond Measure N, there is money currently available.

The San Juan Unified School District has now scheduled a community forum on Monday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the El Camino cafeteria.  The purpose of this forum is to seek input from our school and local community about this theater project. This forum is different than the forums held last spring.

I am making a plea to our El Camino community to attend this forum in full force and show the district that a performing arts center is truly needed in this district and a worthy expenditure.  I hope to see a packed cafeteria with past, present and future students and families to support this project.

Please share this post with everyone you think would be interested.

For the sake of the arts and the good of our student artists, please try to attend the forum at El Camino on October 13.

Kevin Glaser
Band Director, El Camino High School
President, ecARTS, Inc.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

SJUSD Continues To Develop Master Plan

The San Juan Unified School District is still in the process of developing a facilities master plan for spending the Measure N Bond funds. On April 22nd, the DLR Group presented a preliminary document to the district that will eventually include site summaries for each school campus, field assessment data and photos, and an appendix of community input, staff surveys and supporting documents.

A grading scale of “A” through “D” for every school in the district is currently online. El Camino High School received the lowest grade of any school in the district. A sad state of affairs, but may work in our favor for actually seeing facility improvement.

The idea of “Signature Projects” at every high school is still on the table and appears to be a priority with a majority of school board members. El Camino High School’s wish and priority for a signature project remains the performing arts center.

At this time the school board and administrators are working with the DLR Group to finalize a facilities master plan and time line for implementation. The school board will essentially have the final say on how the Measure N Bond funds are spent and when.

ecARTS, Inc. continues to be an advocate for a performing arts center that will serve the needs of the entire district and the local community. Our mission continues to be to convince the school board and district administrators that this facility will open the doors for 21st century learning in the creative and business side of the performing and visual arts and will be an investment that will truly support the arts in our schools and community and will enhance public support for the school district.

We appreciate your continued support.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Remembering Jeff Rogers

On January 29th, El Camino Band parent Jeff "Mitch" Rogers passed away after a long and courageous battle with brain cancer. Jeff was diagnosed three years ago, and fought the devastating odds through spirit, determination, and strength. He was a wonderful parent, husband and human being. A remembrance for Jeff appeared in the Sacramento Bee, and says in part: "Jeff believed in giving back to his community and did so in numerous ways...He was also passionate about the El Camino High School band program, of which his [twin] daughters are members. Watching the Pep Band in action at Friday night football games gave him great joy."  

In accordance with his wishes, the family requests that donations made in Jeff's memory be sent either to El Camino High School Performing Arts (ecARTS, Inc., Kevin Glaser, President, 4300 El Camino Avenue, Sacramento, CA, 95821 or the Fremont Presbyterian Church, 5770 Carlson Drive, Sacramento, CA 95819.

We thank Jeff and his family for their generosity in remembering El Camino and the performing arts center at this sad time. 

Please join us as we keep Jeff’s wife and daughters in our thoughts.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SJUSD Parents, Students, Employees, and Community Members Raise Their Voices at Community Forum

The January 13 performing arts center community forum hosted at El Camino High School was both informative and positive.  The current status of the “Facilities Master Plan” for Measure N was presented by the newly hired Bond Manager, Brett Mitchell.  Mr. Mitchell addressed the process and challenges of creating a facilities master plan for the school district, modernizing schools, and establishing 21st century “learning communities” and design standards for all schools in the district.

The bulk of the meeting (over one hour) was devoted to questions from the 140-member audience.  Audience members made very clear to Interim Superintendent Kent Kern, SJUSD Board Member Greg Paolo (also in attendance), and Mr. Mitchell their want, desire, need and passion for a performing arts facility that would serve all schools in the district and the surrounding community.  Neither of the district representatives could make a promise or commitment regarding a performing arts center, but Mr. Kern and Mr. Paulo both acknowledged they understand and agree with the need. 

Although audience members did not get the commitment they were looking for, the forum was positive in that our district administrators and school board member heard from an extremely passionate and loyal group of parents, students, employees and community members.  It was made perfectly clear that a performing arts center in this school district is the right thing to do and an investment in the future of our schools, the students it serves, and the community in which it resides.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tonight's the night!

Ninety minutes of your time will go a long way toward showing Interim Superintendent Kent Kern how important a performing arts center is to our students and community.

Monday, January 13, 2014
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
El Camino cafeteria

Hope to see you there!

Haven't been following this thread? Read more:
Save Jan. 13 at 6:30 for community forum with superindendent
Save our performing arts center

Monday, January 6, 2014

Reminder: Jan. 13 community forum

Now that the holidays are behind us, help us start the New Year off on a positive note. Attend an open forum with Interim Superintendent Kent Kern and district leadership to show your support for our community-wide performing arts center. 

Monday, January 13, 2014
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
El Camino cafeteria

Need a refresher on why it's critical that you attend? Read our Dec. 16 blog post

Planning to attend? Please send us an email at performatec@yahoo.com. Come with questions.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Save Jan. 13 at 6:30 for community forum with superintendent

We are very excited about our potential state-of-the-art performing arts facility serving all students and campuses on the west end of the San Juan Unified School District. But at this point in time, we are only a potential project and not yet a reality. We need your help:  please attend an open forum with Interim Superintendent Kent Kern and district leadership to show your support for this needed project:

Monday, January 13, 2014
6:30pm – 8:00pm
El Camino cafeteria

The recent passage of Bond Measure N will be a huge benefit to this and other needed projects around the District, but it presents some management issues for the District and the school board--the most significant problem being that there are roughly $1 billion in identified projects competing for about $275 million in Measure N funding.

Nonetheless, with ecARTS, Inc. at the helm, the performing arts center project enjoys an existing volunteer team that has worked closely with the District for several years.  It was the result of that relationship which prompted Superintendent Kern to offer to address our community and provide the latest and most accurate information on the subject of a performing arts center.  There will also be a question and answer session at this forum.

Why should you attend?
On October 14th, a community forum was hosted by DLR, the company hired to produce the SJUSD Facilities Master Plan.  In attendance were El Camino and its feeder middle and elementary schools.  The performing arts center was at the top of the list of projects for our community.   Each high school will most likely receive one “signature project” through Measure N funding in the neighborhood of $10-$12 million.

However, the School Board has already approved all-weather tracks and athletic fields for El Camino and Del Campo—at $2 million each.  It is proposed that funding for the athletic facilities will come from the $10-$12 million for the El Camino community’s signature project—the performing arts center.  We disagree with that logic, especially since the football field at El Camino is a District field that serves four high schools.

More importantly, other high schools have received upgrades and new structures from previous bond measures so the idea that all nine high schools will receive an equal share of the Measure N Bond is an issue on the table.

It is for these reasons that we need you to attend this forum meeting on January 13th and impress upon the District leadership that we are united behind our performing arts center and that we want it to receive the funding necessary to get this sorely needed facility built.

The San Juan School Board is an elected body and therefore sensitive to public sentiment. Our united presence will have the added benefit of reminding them of what they might hear from the voters should they feel that their Measure N vote was in vain. Our presence is the strongest way to show our level of commitment to and expectation for the performing arts center. Please take the time to attend.

Once again, save the date, Monday, January 13, 2014, 6:30 – 8:00pm in the El Camino cafeteria. Planning to attend? Please send us an email at performatec@yahoo.com. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Save our performing arts center

The Problem:  Several school board members have expressed concern about the cost of a performing arts center along the lines of the facility outlined by our survey respondents. A facility that will have tremendous positive impact on the District and the community! A curriculum area linked to academic achievement! We need to act quickly to prove to the board that students, alumni, and faculty from area schools AND the community want this project to happen.

Pressing need: Get our performing arts center on the District’s Facilities Master Plan. To help us, please complete the information at this ONLINE FORM. In the comment boxes at the bottom, please identify the performing arts center at El Camino as a specific project for the board to support. Then share the link with a friend. The information collected by the District will be shared with the DLR Group, the firm producing the master plan. 

  • Summer 2012:  ecARTS members volunteer to help the District ensure Measure N’s passage (which included handing out election flyers for some of our board members).
  • Nov. 2012: Measure N passes and a District employee attends an ecARTS meeting to tell us our performing arts center is a sure thing.
  • Spring 2013: ecARTS tabulates survey results from SJU schools and community organizations and creates a list of features our new performing arts center must have. ecARTS hires LPAS to produce a conceptual drawing (below).
  • Summer 2013: ecARTS and LPAS representatives present the plan to SJUSD board members Lucinda Luttgen and Pam Costa. While the board members seem to support the concept, the cost of the facility is prohibitive in their opinion.
  • Oct. 2013:  ECHS, Starr King, Cowan, Mission, and Arcade vote unanimously for a performing arts center. DLR is impressed by an idea that serves thousands of students, and the “signature project” aspect they believe the District needs.
  • Nov. 2013:  School board members continue to express reservations about the cost of a facility and are not convinced that several schools will use it. Help us convince them!

Monday, October 28, 2013

HELP! We need 5 minutes of your time...

As we reported last week, the SJUSD Board is presently awaiting the completion of a Facilities Master Plan (FMP) before it makes any public announcements regarding Measure N-funded projects. The DLR Group has conducted a series of public meetings where it received input from the community regarding improvements and/or enhancements at each school in the District.

The District is also seeking public input for the FMP via an ONLINE FORM. The intent was to have a form for each campus but as you can see, the form is generic.

How you can help (we need only 5 minutes!)
  1. Click the above link.
  2. Complete your name and select the appropriate radio buttons for questions on safety, academics, athletics. etc. (all fields are required). 
  3. In the comment boxes at the end, PLEASE BE SURE THE NAME THE SAN JUAN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (at El Camino High School) AS YOUR #1 DESIRE!

It takes all of 5 minutes but the results can last a lifetime. When you're done, please forward to a friend.

Thank you for your continued support to help us build a first-class visual and performing arts center that serves the students in the west end of the District and the community at large.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Focused and positive!

As the President of ecARTS, part of my "job description" is to make sure this organization remains focused on our goal and positive in our actions. Over the past couple of months I often had to remind myself of my own philosophy of "Attitude is Everything"!

Since August, we have experienced some setbacks that took us by surprise. However, in the past week some very positive things have occurred in our favor. Specifically, at the recent community forum administered by DLR, the company hired by the San Juan School District to present a master plan for measure N funding.

  • El Camino staff, administration, students, parents, PTSA, and Athletic Boosters bonded together to inform DLR (and the San Juan School District) that our number one priority at El Camino is to build a state of the art 600 seat performing arts center with measure N funds.
  • In addition, each of our feeder schools (Starr King, Arcade, Cowan, Mission Avenue) also desire a performing arts center that serves their student arts programs.
  • El Camino’s presentation at the community forum was received with applause and cheers by our feeder schools.
It makes perfect sense that the district build a single facility to serve the needs of the entire west end of our district. This has always been our intention! El Camino has the space and is in a logical location.

With the support of our school community, ecARTS is in a powerful position to see our vision come to fruition. As discussed at our meeting on Tuesday, we will invite the DLR team to the fall band concert and winter madrigal dinner concert to allow them to actually see why there is a need for a new facility.

So, the point of this communication is to remind us all (including myself) why we came together and to keep our eye on the prize! Attitude really is everything!

Thank you all for everything you have done and continue to do for our cause.

Kevin Glaser

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Architect hired to create concept drawings

You've probably been wondering what we've been up to the last several months. The answer? A lot!

First, our hard work on Measure N paid off! The district now has $350 million of breathing room with respect to much needed improvements for all schools in our district.

Second, it was announced to ecARTS by the school district that money is being earmarked for our long-awaited performing arts center on El Camino's campus. 

In the last several months, the design committee met and developed a rough outline of necessary features for our performing arts center, based on surveys conducted with district elementary, middle, and high schools, and community performing groups.

Next, we submitted requests for proposal to three well-know area architects for concept drawings and project estimates. LPAS submitted the winning proposal -- designer of the Three Stages at Folsom Lake College and several other performing arts centers in the western U.S.

Between now and the end of May, ecARTS together with LPAS will prepare a design concept for district approval.

It's going to happen, folks! The Performing Arts Center at El Camino High School will soon be a reality.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Measure N is good for kids and taxpayers

A letter from Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Sacramento Metro Chamber CEO Roger Niello:

Dear Taxpayer-

There’s a good reason why taxpayers support Measure N. Investing in upgrading our schools today means a large cost savings tomorrow.

We also know where all the money will go – directly to help our kids and schools right here in the San Juan Unified School District.

By law, Measure N money can only be spent on critical projects like modernizing our local schools, replacing leaky old portables, adding and upgrading science labs, and for improving technology throughout the district. Measure N prohibits any funds from being used for administrators’ salaries or pensions and no expensive capital appreciation bonds will be issued.

And there’s a little “insurance policy” written into Measure N called “The Citizens Oversight Committee” with people on it we can trust; retirees, taxpayers and business people who live here in the San Juan School District.

Quality schools help create a safer community, where children are encouraged to stay in school. We believe Measure N is a great investment in our kids and our community.
Please join us in voting YES on Measure N.

Bipartisan Support of Measure N
Republicans of River City
Democratic Party of Sacramento County
San Juan Teachers Association
Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce PAC
Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce PAC
Supervisor Susan Peters
SMUD Director Bill Slaton
California League of Bond Oversight Committees President Mike Day
Former California State Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell
Taxpayers League of Sac County Former Executive Director Carl Burton
Courtesy of San Juan Schools First / Yes on Measure N

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sacramento Bee Endorses Measure N

"San Juan schools have been a good steward of past bond funds...It has won deserved praise across the political spectrum. Measure N has drawn support from taxpayer and chamber of commerce groups to the teachers union and labor groups."

"[San Juan Unified]...has aging schools...El Camino High School is 62 years old. Many of the district's 65 schools were built during the Roosevelt era."

"Measure N's estimated annual cost to property owners would be $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation."

"Now is a good time for borrowing. We are at historically low interest rates."

"Now is a good time for building. With the downturn in the construction market, SJU gets many, many more bids per project than in pre-recession 2007, providing good deals for taxpayers."

"The District will use traditional general obligation bonds." NOT a capital appreciation bond structure!

Read entire article, and Vote YES on MEASURE N


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