The Ricardo Campero Performing Arts Center is taking shape on the campus of Central Valley High School. The $9 million project broke ground in June 2022 and is anticipated to be completed in September 2023 with the first performances taking place soon in January 2024.
The 5,000-square-foot black-box theater will serve as a district-wide performance venue for CUSD’s band, choir and drama students, offering a floor-level stage and 400 retractable seats that can be configured to accommodate a variety of needs. The venue will also include overhead stage lighting, a dedicated lighting and sound room, and an off-stage green room.
Located near the main office and “E Building” on the Central Valley High School campus at 4033 Central Avenue, the venue is named after CUSD music teacher Ric Campero, who retired in 2008 after teaching at Ceres High School for 25 years and spending the latter part of his career working with Ceres elementary students.
When the building broke ground, Campero praised Ceres Unified for investing in the importance of teaching the arts while “a lot of places are taking that away from students and the community.”
The project is being fully funded by CUSD through the use of capital facility funds.
Teachers like Central Valley High School theatre arts teacher Jennifer Elliott are excited about the prospects of a place for the prep work and performances. Right now, her English classroom serves as the storage space, workshop and place for drama rehearsals.”