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Curtains still closed at VACC: The Valley Academic and Cultural Center

Story by Isaac Dektor and Griffin O'Rourke

Two construction workers pour over construction plans in the Valley Academic and Cultural Center at Valley College on October 17, 2022. (Griffin O'Rourke/Valley Star)

The sounds of construction have permeated the Valley College campus for years now. The Valley Academic Cultural Center, a premiere arts facility stacked with amenities and state-of-the-art facilities slowly comes to fruition on campus. The over 400-seat theater, motion capture studio and other top-notch features of the building have been overshadowed by delay after delay and a racketeering lawsuit. The courtroom drama predates the completion of the stage and in many ways, the spotlight has been stolen from the people this building is designed to serve.

A construction worker grinds notches in a metal bar called a zigert at the Valley Academic and Cultural Center at Valley College on October 17, 2022. The workers are replacing the installed 16 gauge zigerts with new 10 gauge bars. (Griffin O'Rourke/Valley Star)

Rather than dwell on squabbles between the district and Pinner Construction, let’s take a look at how this building is going to revamp Valley’s campus and change the game for so many students.

The Media Art’s building features a sophisticated main stage theater, complete with a state-of-the-art sound system, hydraulic stage lift and efficient air conditioning. This will be a massive step up from the theater department’s current soapbox in Campus Center; the main stage theater could be Valley’s own Broadway. Four more theaters will also be available to thespian students: a 225-seat screening room, a 150-seat horseshoe theater, an 80-seat lab theater and an outdoor amphitheater.

A radio station, newsroom, a motion-capture studio and a scene shop will be open to students and faculty of the Media Arts department. Several other rooms will feature smart classrooms, studio rooms, rehearsal rooms and audiovisual labs. These labs and classrooms will be outfitted with advanced equipment that students can use to study and experiment. Smart classrooms house technology like smart projectors and whiteboards that improve student engagement with the teaching material. Audiovisual labs have a variety of uses and are utilized across many different fields for different purposes. In Media Arts, the labs are used to help sync sound and video as well as simulate, encode and transmit it.

With these new state-of-the-art facilities and Valley’s proximity to Hollywood, the nucleus of television and film production worldwide, Media Arts students will have the opportunity to not only gain the necessary skill sets to find work in the industry but also build the relationships that will lead to jobs.


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