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McCarthy Breaks Ground on Colburn School Campus Expansion in Los Angeles

From left to right: Sel Kardan, Carol Colburn Grigor, Andrew Millstein, Jerry Kohl, Terri Kohl, Maeesha Merchant, Toby Mayman, Merle Mullin, and Terry Greene at the Colburn Center groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Loreen Sarkis for Colburn School.)
From left to right: Sel Kardan, Carol Colburn Grigor, Andrew Millstein, Jerry Kohl, Terri Kohl, Maeesha Merchant, Toby Mayman, Merle Mullin, and Terry Greene at the Colburn Center groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Loreen Sarkis for Colburn School.)
Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles Jacqueline Hamilton at the Colburn Center groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Loreen Sarkis for Colburn School.)
Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles Jacqueline Hamilton at the Colburn Center groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Loreen Sarkis for Colburn School.)
LOS ANGELES, CA — The Colburn School, an institute for music and dance education and performance in Downtown Los Angeles, recently broke ground on a 100,000-square-foot expansion designed by Architect Frank Gehry. The new building, known as the Colburn Center, will be located adjacent to Colburn’s Grand Avenue campus and will dramatically increase the school’s training and performance facilities. The completed project will join Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Grand complex to create the largest concentration of buildings designed by the architect in the world.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place adjacent to the construction site, located within Downtown Los Angeles’s Bunker Hill area diagonally across the street from Colburn’s existing campus on Grand Avenue, in a cultural corridor that includes not only Walt Disney Concert Hall but also The Music Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Broad.

The event brought together Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Hamilton, Chairman of the Colburn School’s Board of Trustees Andrew Millstein, Colburn School President & CEO Sel Kardan, and lead donors Carol Colburn Grigor and Jerry and Terri Kohl.

“Frank Gehry is a Los Angeles icon and a dear friend, and I am delighted that Colburn is moving forward with their Gehry-designed expansion,” Solis said. “This is another initiative that complements LA County's significant investment to uplift cultural institutions along Grand Avenue. And with the opening of the Metro Regional Connector, we are truly creating a world-class hub for cultural, art, innovation, and entertainment. I look forward to a new Colburn Center that is inclusive for all Angelenos.”

“The Colburn Center will be a game changer, stepping up everything we do for the school’s own community, for our peer organizations that make the LA artistic ecosystem so vibrant, and for the public that we look forward to welcoming,” Kardan said. “At Colburn, making performances accessible to LA audiences is as much a part of our core mission as making first-rate music and dance education available to everyone. These are the same values we see in the wonderful design by Frank Gehry — artistic excellence at the highest level, combined with a deep love for the dynamism and diversity that animate life in a great city.”

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“McCarthy is delighted to collaborate with the Colburn School as the chosen contractor for the upcoming Colburn Center," said Paul Erb, Executive Vice President, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. "Our dedicated team of builders is enthusiastic about revitalizing communities through innovative structures, and we are particularly thrilled to be part of the transformative Frank Gehry project. The intersection of culture, architecture, and construction is what makes projects like this memorable and impactful. We take pride in our partnership with Colburn and Gehry Partners, working together to bring their vision to life and contribute to what is bound to become an iconic addition to Los Angeles."

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I wish to express our excitement and enthusiasm at the launch of our project to build the Colburn Center, where education, performance, and community will all come together,” Millstein said. “The Colburn Center will enable us to expand the world-class training and performance opportunities we offer our students and further our mission of democratizing access to the arts. As we reach this milestone, I give my thanks to the far-sighted and profoundly generous donors who have enabled us to move forward with this project of such importance for so many of the people of Los Angeles.”

“This has been a long time in the making. The Colburn School expansion is a much-needed project for the community,” Gehry said. “I hope that it will be well-used and well-loved by the students of the Colburn School and the other cultural institutions of Los Angeles. Our goal for this hall is that it will help strengthen the already robust classical music community here, solidifying Los Angeles’ leadership in this arena.”

At the groundbreaking, Kardan announced that the Colburn School’s Building Our Future campaign reached $315 million of the $400 million goal.

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