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Contractor Problems Won't Delay Theater at CVHS, Capo Says

A report to the school board indicated officials knew as early as January that EDGE Development was having financial problems.

Despite the main contractor building the new performing arts center at Capistrano Valley High School biting the economic dust, the project will continue on time and on budget, the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees was told.

District officials knew as early as January that EDGE Development Inc. of Temecula was in financial trouble, said Clark Hampton, deputy superintendent for business and support services. That’s when the surety company assumed financial responsibility, about seven months after the board awarded the $12 million contract in June 2011.

“This was not a result of anything specific to the job but as a result of the construction industry as a whole,” Hampton told the trustees at their meeting Monday.

The “completion contractor,” which the district earlier identified as SJ Amoroso, will be on the site in October, he said.

But other workers have been on the job this month, Hampton said, finishing the exterior walls and roof and beginning the work on the interior.

The facility, with a 446-seat theater, a black-box theater, chorale and band rooms, is still scheduled to be done by April, but after seeing to a predicted “punch-list” of fix-it items and safety checks, the district won’t have occupancy until after school gets out, Hampton said. That means students won’t get access until September 2013.

Madison Wolfert, the board’s student adviser and a music student CVHS student, said the theater will be a major improvement over the current performance practice area – in the “mall,” an indoor amphitheater sandwiched between offices, lockers and eating areas.

“The mall is a sort of glorified lunchroom that we use, so the acoustics are not very good,” Wolfert said. “My only regret is I myself will not be able to play in this theater as I will have graduated by the time it opens.”

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