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Palm Springs school hosts arts center celebration

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Palm Springs Unified School District and the Foundation for PSUSD held a recent dual celebration earlier this month to mark the $17 million renovation to the former Palm Springs High School Auditorium and the dedication of the new Richards Center for the Arts.

October 26 was proclaimed “Richards Center for the Arts Day” in the city of Palm Springs by Mayor Rob Moon at the ceremony attended by nearly 150 people who expressed pride and pleasure in seeing the interior upgrades and renovations combined with retaining the exterior and interior design features of the original historic building.

Following music by the Palm Springs High Orchestra and a performance of the National Anthem, with saxophone solo by PSHS student Maddie Barton, under the direction of Jason Powell, Superintendent of Schools Sandra Lyon welcomed attendees and accepted proclamations and congratulatory certificates from representatives for Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz, Assemblyman Chad Mayes and Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor John Benoit. Others offering congratulatory remarks and documents included Senator Jeff Stone, Rancho Mirage Mayor Richard Kite and Moon. Other event speakers included Board of Education President Shari Stewart and Palm Springs High Principal Ryan Woll.

Foundation Executive Director Ellen Goodman introduced Rick Moore, representing his mother, Rozene Supple, who has pledged $2 million to establish an arts endowment and rename the auditorium the Richards Center for the Arts, in honor of her family. Moore then presented a symbolic “big check” for $2 million to the board of education

Goodman also announced the launch of the center’s “Grab Your Seat” campaign, giving patrons and supporters the opportunity to personalize a seat in the auditorium for $500 each. The campaign’s first fundraiser will be a concert on Jan. 19, featuring Scott Bradlee’s PostModern Jukebox. Tickets are $125, $95 and $75, and are available by visiting psusd.us/TheFoundation where seat and other building naming can be purchased as well.

Following the cutting of a commemorative ribbon at the conclusion of the ceremony, event attendees were invited to tour the facility and enjoy a catered reception back stage.

Joan Boiko is the coordinator of communications and community outreach for the Palm Springs Unified School District. She can be reached at jboiko@psusd.us or (760) 416-6010.

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