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A landmark emerges on the M-A High campus

Original post made on Aug 18, 2008

A $32 million, 32,000-square-foot performing arts center is under construction on the Menlo-Atherton High School campus. The center will have comfortable seating for 494 people, a 63-foot-high tower for storing and lowering backdrops to the stage, an orchestra pit and stage apron, a rehearsal room, three practice rooms, storage for musical instruments, a multi-purpose room and a steam-table "cold kitchen." This new performance venue is scheduled to open on the campus in the fall of 2009.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, August 17, 2008, 11:33 PM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Bait & Switch
a resident of another community
on Aug 18, 2008 at 8:52 am

To the Almanac staff--some questions. Are the pictures with this story supposed to show what the finished building now will look like? They bear little resemblance to the artist renderings on the projects web site. I know the district eliminated the copper clad roof for cost reasons, but YUK! Also, as I recall, Atherton previously agreed to drop the suit it had brought to stop this project (with urging from Menlo Park), but I think that was conditioned upon the school district agreeing to do a traffic study. Has one subsequently been done? If so, with what result? If not, why? Personally, as visible as this building is from Middlefield and Ravenswood, if the pictures are of the finished product, we've been the victim of a classic "bait & switch" job. Looks like the Oakland ship yards to me.

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Posted by greenie
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 20, 2008 at 8:30 am

Will the huge slanted expanses include solar panels? Just curious.

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Posted by David Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Aug 20, 2008 at 9:55 am

David Boyce is a registered user.

Ken Schroeder, the project manager, told me in an interview that photo voltaics may be added to the roof of the building later.

The idea of building the theater with LEED points in mind (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was not a part of this project, I was told.

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Posted by David Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Aug 20, 2008 at 11:29 am

David Boyce is a registered user.

On the question of the difference in renderings shown at the project web site versus the renderings shown in Almanac stories, the Almanac used renderings recently prepared on a computer by the project's modeling engineer. The renderings are based on highly refined plans that reflect the building's existence in physical reality.

The renderings on the project web site are conceptual and are from the early days of this enterprise, before ground had been broken.

As to traffic issues, there has always been an intention to put a new entrance at the intersection of Ravenswood Avenue and Middlefield Road. Eastbound Ravenswood traffic would then have direct access into the M-A campus.

Such a "curb cut" on Middlefield Road reportedly needs the approval of the town of Atherton. The Almanac has not heard of anything that would derail this element of the project.

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Posted by An observer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm

That just looks like the steel structure to me. If you drive by it you can see that there IS going to be an actual roof put on it. They probably did that so you could see inside the building a little.

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Posted by palo alto paremt
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2008 at 7:53 pm

An amazingly ugly building.

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Posted by Carole Brady
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 26, 2008 at 10:17 am

There's no accounting for taste, that's for sure.

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Posted by MP
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 27, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Actually, it is quite attractive and striking as you drive by. Laid out nicely.

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Posted by pomp no matter what circumstance
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 27, 2008 at 7:23 pm

We will probably get used to the building, but it is butt ugly, and out of scale for that site. Just to think what could have been done with that money...

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