The newly renovated SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center opens Sept. 15 with the Sacramento premiere of “Hamilton”, which runs through Oct. 10.
“We are thrilled to host ‘Hamilton’ as our first performance at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center,” said the City’s project manager Sabrina Tefft. “Thank you to our amazing City, architect and construction team for working around the clock to bring this project to life.”
Here’s what you need to know about the project and the building.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The City of Sacramento since 2017 has been working to renovate and expand the Community Center Theater (renamed SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center), the Sacramento Convention Center (renamed SAFE Credit Union Convention Center) and the Memorial Auditorium.
The three buildings make up the SAFE Credit Union Convention and Performing Arts District, collectively called the C3 Project during construction.
The SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center began its renovation in June 2019. Construction is substantially complete and the first performance (“Hamilton”) will be held Sept. 15.
The SAFE Credit Union Convention Center began its renovation/expansion in December 2018. Construction is substantially complete and the first convention (SacAnime) was held Sept. 3-5, 2021. The renovated Memorial Auditorium reopened in May 2019.
ABOUT THE SAFE CREDIT UNION CONVENTION CENTER
Owned and operated by: The City of Sacramento
Location: 1301 L St., Sacramento, CA 95814
Total Performing Arts Center project cost: Approximately $120 million
Funding: City Council in 2018 unanimously approved $350 million in bonds to finance the renovation / expansion of the three buildings. The bonds are repaid by the “transient occupancy tax,” or TOT. This is a 12 percent tax on hotel-room and short-term rental stays used for tourism-related projects. In addition, local hotels agreed to pay for the construction of the Convention Centers’ new $50 million ballroom.
Total C3 project funding (including TOT bonds): $368 million
The Performing Arts Center: The building opened in 1976 and has not been expanded nor undergone any renovations over the past four decades. The renovated Performing Arts Center features 2,193 seats plus 24 seating areas for wheelchairs, and currently serves as home to many performing arts groups.
Extensive Performing Arts Center renovations were needed to continue serving arts patrons and performance groups, to maintain the facility’s competitive position in the region, and to address building requirements, accessibility-code requirements and operational needs that have changed over the past four decades.
NEW AND IMPROVED
The Performing Arts Center underwent a renovation and expansion that updated the performing arts venue. Construction included creating a prominent main entrance along L Street. Additional improvements to the Performing Arts Center include:
- ADA improvements throughout the venue
- Larger lobbies
- Additional restrooms
- Open floor plan with floor to ceiling windows to better connect with the outside
- Extensive Technical / Performance system upgrades
- Improved dressing rooms
- Expanded & more efficient loading docks
- New finishes throughout
- New and refurbished audience seating
- Additional food/beverage points of sale
The Performing Arts Center is situated in the heart of Sacramento’s Entertainment District with hotels, restaurants and retail spaces.
Don’t forget the new names! The SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center, the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, and the Memorial Auditorium now make up the SAFE Credit Union Convention and Performing Arts District.
THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AND THE PANDEMIC
The construction of the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center and the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center moved with great momentum despite the pandemic. The contractors adopted strict guidelines for everyone working on both sites and limited outside visitors. The projects remained within budget despite the pandemic-related challenges.
The City of Sacramento is working closely with performing arts groups to adhere to State and County Public Health Orders to ensure a safe space for all. All patrons, regardless of age and vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings inside at all times (except when consuming food or beverage in the lobby, auditorium or ballroom).
Starting Sept. 20, 2021, the State will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for all large indoor events when more than 1,000 people will be in attendance.
PERFOMING ARTS CENTER KEY PLAYERS
ARCHITECT – DLR Group
CONTRACTOR – Kitchell
CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT FIRM – O’Connor Construction Management, Inc
OWNER’S REPRESENTATIVE – Rider Levell Bucknall (RLB)
NAMING SPONSOR – SAFE Credit Union