For about a decade now the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music has made its home inside a Sunset Boulevard storefront, with its students mixing into a busy block of shoppers and coffee drinkers. But the conservatory, founded Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Flea, has an ambitious $10 million expansion in mind that is far larger than its current headquarters. The music school recently selected Parallax Architecture and Planning of Culver City to create a concept plan for a three-story teaching and performance space with atrium.
“We could serve more local schools that are losing their music programs,” said Suzi Hoffman-Kipp, Project Development Manager for the conservatory. “It’s been a dream of the school for a while.”
Where will this new complex be located?
All the school and the architects will say for now is that the idea location is a “constrained site on Sunset Boulevard,” according to a posting on the Parallax website. “We have a site we really like in the Silver Lake-Echo Park area,” is all that Hoffman-Kip would say.
The conservatory’s current home has room for about eight practice studios and lacks a large performance and recital space. The school’s summer camp and performances, for example, take place at the auditorium at Micheltorena Elementary School. Ideally, the new school would have an expanded number of practice rooms for individual lessons and groups as well as a performance space. Currently, the school serves about 600 students, about 200 of them on scholarship, a year.
“When we are able to expand to a larger home, we aim to serve as many as 1,200 students and build up to providing 300 to 400 full scholarships (includes weekly lessons and instruments) until the students reach the age of 18,” said Hoffman-Kip. “We want to provide an on-going commitment, not just a six-month or one-year shot.”
Flea kicked off the fundraising effort in October at his 50th birthday bash, where a silent auction included a $100,000 Bansky drawing of a rat. But planning for the expansion and fundraising remains in the very early stages. Hoffman-Kip said the school is working on a three-five year timeline to raise enough money and get the new compound built.