LA JOLLA - City leaders broke ground Wednesday on the future home of the La Jolla Music Society.
The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center was herald as the future "heart" of cultural activity, education, and community events in the region.
Kristin Lancino, president and artistic director of La Jolla Music Society, said the $76 million center, 49,000-square-foot facility will expand upon the city's cultural and artistic offerings and serve as a concert venue for world-class performers.
"The Conrad will be a home for creativity and imagination that will allow La Jolla Music Society to reach broader audiences through both expanded educational and artistic offerings," Lancino said. "In addition to being a beautiful arts center for world-class performers, The Conrad will also be a community resource available to all San Diegans to book for performance, community and private events."
"The Conrad" will feature a 500-seat concert hall, 140-seat space for various uses, rehearsal rooms, offices for the music society, and an open courtyard. The center will also have projection and surround sound capabilities as well.
The first performance is expected to take place sometime in 2019.
Wednesday also kicked off the public fundraising phase of the project to raise an additional $14 million and create an operational endowment.
"We are fortunate to have the extraordinarily generous support of so many to help lay an enduring foundation for The Conrad," Katherine Chapin, Chairman of La Jolla Music Society's Board of Directors, said. "The true purpose of this project has always been to serve as a community asset for all to enjoy and take pride in."
To date, $62 million has been raised through gifts from 11 "founding donors" and other significant donors.
City Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the project will bring in more opportunities for the city to host educational and entertainment possibilities in the region.
"The La Jolla Music Society has influenced San Diego’s arts and culture community in profound ways throughout its 46-year history. The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center marks an exciting new chapter that’s going to take us to a whole new level," Mayor Faulconer said. "Not only will this new venue dramatically expand artistic opportunities for our city and the region through added programming and educational opportunities, it will bolster our national reputation as a world-class performing arts and cultural destination."
Mark Saunders is a KGTV digital producer. Follow him on Twitter at @10NewsSaunders.