A chronicle of the wildly inventive evolution of Cabrillo College and its new Visual and Performing Arts Complex
On a perfect fall day, sunlight streams through the trees at Cabrillo College in Aptos, illuminating the recently constructed Visual and Performing Arts Complex like a shiny new penny. The $80 million facility consists of five buildings totaling 122,300 square feet. The Crocker Theater and the recital hall may be the crowning glory of the new complex, but there are also three new buildings dedicated solely to art instruction.
“There has been a total transformation of our campus in the last five years,” says Cabrillo College President Brian King. Now is a great time to be a Cabrillo College art student of any genre because gone are the days of 50-year-old classrooms and art supplies left over from the Jurassic Age. The school’s new Visual and Performing Arts Complex is a masterpiece of spacious, well-lit classrooms and performance areas equipped to fully train a new generation of artists in Santa Cruz County.
The decision to undertake the massive project of creating this multi-mullion dollar complex was not taken lightly. In fact, the faculty at Cabrillo College has been hoping to see this dream become a reality since 1978, but obtaining sufficient funding—particularly for the arts—has always been the pressing issue. But the State of California smiled on Cabrillo College (fortunately before its coffers ran dry), providing $20 million in state bond money. Additional funds came from the Federal government and directly from our community, with voters passing measure C in 1998, which granted $85 million, and measure D in 2004 which provided another $118.5 million.