Envisioned as a hub where students, faculty, researchers, and civic organizations can work creatively and collaboratively towards common goals in educational advancement, the Herb Alpert Educational Village will be anchored by New Roads School, a culturally and economically diverse, independent, non-profit, pre-K-12 college preparatory school located in Santa Monica, CA. Other members of the “Village” will include the New Visions Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing innovative educational opportunities to at-risk and underserved youth, and a number of other non-profit groups focused on education, the performing arts, or social justice. Located in the heart of Santa Monica’s Mixed-Use Creative District, the Herb Alpert Educational Village will also provide resources for the local community on its 117,000 square foot campus including a 344-seat theater and a 2,000 square foot Leadership Center.

Phase One of this three-phase project consists of the Capshaw-Spielberg Center for Arts and Educational Justice. Completed in 2013, the Center is a 30,000 square foot, three-story building made up of three components: the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, the Leadership Center, and a space for high school classrooms and administrative offices. All three areas serve the New Roads School, the local community, as well as the twelve non-profit organizations (NPO) who call the Herb Alpert Educational Village home.

The Ann and Jerry Moss Theater is a state-of-the-art, 344-seat professional performance space with acoustics designed by renowned acoustician for The Walt Disney Concert Hall, Yasuhisa Toyota. The theater features 50’x80’ (or 4,000 square feet) of column-free space. The theater’s slab on grade slopes and steps to allow for raked seating surrounding the stage on three sides. A modular tension wire grid system measuring over 2,400 square feet was used to support lighting fixtures and audio equipment.

To mitigate the effects of the poor soil conditions the design used special resisting moment frames, which also gave the architect more flexibility in the use of the various spaces in the building, a significant benefit given the large floor openings required to accommodate the theater and lobby spaces.

GMS also designed the façade structure of the building using cold-formed steel. A variety of finishes were selected by the architect: storefront panels, stucco, punched windows and weathering steel plate panels. The variety of materials and the multiple planes in the façade made this design particularly challenging.

The project was completed in February 2013 at a final construction cost of $15.4 million. On March 24, 2013, Herb Alpert and his wife Lani Hall headlined an inaugural concert at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater to thank donors for making HAEV a reality. With its position as a crossroads for students, educators, and NPOs, HAEV promises to provide performing arts, social justice and education while serving as a unique neighborhood catalyst.