New Arts Village opens at Irvine Valley College

Irvine Valley College has opened the doors on its new Arts Village for students.

Irvine Valley College has opened the doors on its new Arts Village for students. The three gleaming edifices, a $61 million package, are designed to make the college a new regional leader in music, dance, performing arts and visual arts.

“This is our most significant construction project to date,” says IVC President John Hernandez. “We look forward to its impact on the community.”

The 63,000-square-foot village sits on the southwest end of campus, across from the soccer fields and volleyball courts.

The largest of the three new buildings is the Music & Dance center, nearly a block long. The school’s arts technical director, Mark Petersen, muses about what those students faced before:

“The music department was working out of two rooms in one building – the jazz ensemble, orchestra, wind band and guitar ensemble all shared a room. The second room was for music harmony, theory, piano and composition classes. It was very crowded.”

Now they all have their own space, with much higher ceilings. And all with vastly improved sound systems. Students went from five practice rooms to 18 in the new building.

The visual arts building has prominent signs depicting separate sections for each specialty, such as ceramics, pottery, interactive media, drawing and painting.

The circular Fine Arts & Gallery building, facing the other two, features a 158-seat auditorium and an art gallery. It will promote student exhibits designed to engage the surrounding community.

“It’s nice to bring the arts together for the first time on this campus,” says Petersen, who was part of the original planning committee more than a decade ago. “We hope it will bring in more students and more creativity between the artistic disciplines.”

Irvine Valley College, just off Irvine Center Drive, is ranked third among California’s top 50 community colleges by, recognized as a leader in college appraisal.