New performing arts center coming to CLU

Since CLU’s beginning, Mount Clef Stadium has been home to some of the university’s most prominent sports teams, including Kingsmen football and Regal’s soccer.

With the construction of William Rolland Stadium complete, most of CLU sports teams have a new venue to call home, and in their absence, construction plans for a new performing arts building have shifted to Mt. Clef Stadium.

“Of the programs left on campus that would have to be addressed, it’s time that we address the arts issue on campus too,” said Ryan Van Ommeren, vice president of CLU facilities Operations and Planning.

The plans must still go through a fundraising study to determine how much money will be allotted to build the building, according to Van Ommeren.

Estimated construction costs for the building are between $74 and $123 million, complete with a music and drama space.

“It would make our attractiveness to perspective students better and make our student experience better for the existing students,” said Van Ommeren.

Current students interested in performing arts are excited about the new building.

“Such a big part of Cal Lutheran is our music program, is our theatre arts program, and I think those facilities are going to bring in more and more students that are going to be interested,” said Carmen Garcia, a sophomore music major.  “It makes me really excited because of everything that could come out of it.”

While this new building provides an excellent opportunity for those interested in performing arts, it may also pose a threat to the many athletic programs that still call Mt. Clef Stadium home, such as the Kingsmen and Regals junior varsity soccer teams.

“I love playing in Mt. Clef Stadium,” said Eric Patyk, a sophomore starting midfielder and captain of the men’s junior varsity soccer team.  “As a soccer player, I prefer grass rather than turf.  The size of the field is really good and it’s really close to my dorm. It’s easy to get to.”

The move to William Rolland Stadium for the men’s and women’s varsity soccer teams came with the benefit of playing in a beautiful new stadium, but also some draw backs in scheduling.

“The move to games on weekdays makes our schedules more hectic because we have to play more weekday games, whereas last year we played on weekends when it wouldn’t conflict with football,” said David Lee, sophomore and starting forward of the men’s varsity soccer team.

Many performing arts majors feel like it’s time something was done for them.

“The gym was just built.  Big new facility.  The stadium, just built.  Nice new facility.  All of those apply to athletics,” said Garcia.  “It’s time to start paying attention to the arts because we bring just as many students as the athletes.”

While this new building would bring opportunities for performing arts majors, it’s clear that Mt. Clef Stadium will surely be missed.

“If I wanted to do some running, I’d do it on Mt. Clef Field,” said Lee.

“If I wanted to throw the football, I’d do it on Mt. Clef Field.  It’s much more inviting.”


Jase Magarifuji
Special to the Echo
Published Oct. 17, 2012