Whittier Union is putting the finishing touches on the design phase of a new Performing Arts Center (PAC) that will become the cornerstone of the District’s visual and performing arts (VAPA) programs, providing a state-of-the-art venue that will be available for all schools within the District to stage theatrical plays, live music shows and other special events.
With its sleek, modern design, the 450-seat, dual-level PAC – developed by LPA Design Studios with Whittier Union stakeholder input – is poised to become a jewel of the community. It will be built on the northwest side of the District’s United Sierra Education Center (USEC) and include a multiuse parking lot that will be accessed from Greenleaf Ave.
The PAC is the largest project in the first phase of improvements funded by the $183 million Measure AA bond, passed by voters in November 2020. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024 with an estimated December 2025 completion date.
“The Whittier Union Performing Arts Center is a dream come true for the District,” Superintendent Dr. Monica Oviedo said. “Not only will the PAC provide an exquisite platform for a new generation of thespians, dancers, musicians and student leaders, the building will stand in solidarity with a growing community looking towards a bright future for all of its residents.”
The construction of the PAC is just the first phase of renovations slated for the USEC, which houses the District’s administrative offices, Board of Trustees meeting room, Sierra Vista High School, Frontier High School, the District’s Transition Program and Whittier Union Adult School, as well as the District’s transportation department, a large swath of open green space and athletic fields.
To accommodate the PAC, approximately one-third of the green spaces will initially be eliminated. Upon completion of the PAC, the second phase of the USEC renovations will proceed, with plans to transform the remaining green space into recreation areas that can be used for youth sports programs and serve more than 2,000 young people.
The second phase of renovations will include numerous improvements to the athletic fields, including lighting upgrades, shade structures, surface improvements and restrooms. The renovations will be funded through a partnership between Whittier Union, the City of Whittier, Los Angeles County, and the U.S. House of Representatives. In March, U.S. Rep. Linda Sánchez delivered a $750,000 check to help fund the project.
A feasibility study conducted by LPA determined that the best location, both practically and aesthetically, for the PAC on the sprawling USEC campus would be next to the transportation department, near the intersection of Greenleaf Ave. and Mulberry Dr. The PAC construction timeline will be 14 to 18 months. During this time, nearly two-thirds of the open green spaces will be accessible to the Whittier community.
“The PAC is just the first step in a much-needed modification of the United Sierra Education Center,” Deputy Superintendent Kevin Jamero said. “Not only does the USEC serve as the District administrative, alternative education and transportation hub, its green spaces have been cherished by the Whittier community for decades. Our goal is to strike the perfect balance between serving Whittier Union students and community residents.”
WUHSD_PAC1: Whittier Union’s new Performing Arts Center is the largest project in the first phase of improvements funded by the $183 million Measure AA bond, passed by voters in November 2020. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024 with an estimated December 2025 completion date.
WUHSD_PAC2: Whittier Union’s new Performing Arts Center, set to be completed by December 2025, will be built on the northwest side of the District’s United Sierra Education Center (USEC) and include a multiuse parking lot that will be accessed from Greenleaf Ave.