LAGUNA BEACH : Donations Sought for School Theater

This city’s school board has endorsed building an amphitheater at Thurston Middle School and accepted a matching grant of $25,000 to help pay for the project, Supt. Paul M. Possemato said this week.

“The board accepted it with a great deal of gratitude, frankly,” Possemato said Thursday of the donation from the family of community activist Michael Pinto. The planned outdoor theater may eventually be named “the Pinto Family Amphitheater or something along those lines,” he added.

While the campaign to raise the matching $25,000 is officially underway, it really began even before Laguna Beach Unified School Board meeting Tuesday night.

Almost immediately after word of the proposed amphitheater became public, Possemato said checks totaling $1,100 were received.


The next step is to test the ground in the area to make sure it is sturdy enough to hold the theater, Possemato said. The amphitheater would be built as part of a larger project to reconstruct classrooms that burned in the October fire.

The proposal is the idea of City Councilman Wayne L. Peterson, who suggested the amphitheater be built on an unused patch of ground behind the new classrooms and pitched in the first $100. If built in conjunction with the other project, Peterson determined the theater could be constructed for $50,000.

Residents wishing to donate to the project can send money to School Power Endowment Fund, Amphitheater, P.O. Box 19, Laguna Beach, CA 92652.