Winter 2012 – Volume 12 Number 1

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

St. Monica High School Unveils Gymnasium

      St. Monica Catholic High School in Santa Monica celebrated the opening of their newly renovated gymnasium with a ceremony at center court, highlighted by an all-net first basket by Pastor Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson.

(Above) Opening Day volley ball match was won by the Varsity Girls team. Architectural design of the renovated gymnasium by Pica + Sullivan Architects, Ltd.
Photograph by Randall Michelson Photography.

      The early December event included a pep rally led by school President Thom Gasper and an inaugural volleyball match between the Girls Varsity team and teachers sporting pink hardhats.

      The renovation of the circa-1946 gymnasium has been a priority for the school administration and athletic department. The facility, which has been used extensively over the years, was in des-perate need of an upgrade.

      The flooring was unable to be further sanded, water damage and dead spots marred the hardwood, acoustics and sound quality were abysmal and years of ad hoc wiring graced the walls and ceiling. There were also significant cracks in the structural concrete from the 1994 Northridge earthquake that had not been previously evident.

      The project, designed by Los Angeles, CA-based Pica + Sullivan Architects and constructed by Torrance, CA-based Del Amo Construction, Inc., was completed in an extremely compressed schedule.

      The older flooring was removed, the sub-base repaired and a new maple floor installed. Builtin bleachers were structurally repaired and resheathed. A new storage room was constructed, the announce positions repositioned, the balcony renovated and handicap accessibility created at the front door.

      The floor design, which sports the St. Monica anchor logo at center court and boat helm graphic at the keys, was created by Auburn, CA-based Bill Moore and Associates. Two new exciting features include an innovative scoreboard with jumbo video screen and the High School Hall of Fame.

      The Hall of Fame, created by Granada Hills, CA-based graphic designer Melissa Messer, is composed of vintage photos of alumni inductees and past sporting events in a ribbon mosaic. It stretches across the width of the gymnasium behind each basket.

      During the course of construction the St. Monica High School community “buried” a time capsule. The capsule contents included a varsity letter, tickets to the Fall 2011 school play, a student ID card, medallions, a piece of the original maple gym floor and other objects that would tell their story to a future generation of students.

      The renovated gymnasium is the first phase of a $27,000,000 campus upgrade. The new St. Monica Village project, also designed by Pica + Sullivan Architects, includes new subterranean parking, a community center (with offices, chapel and café), reception pavilion, child and student center and a renovated central courtyard.

      The groundbreaking ceremony for the start of the new St. Monica Village project will be January 15, 2012. It is scheduled to be completed by the Summer of 2013.

New Training Rink Opens

New Training Rink Opens

Ice Skating is alive, well and flourishing in Southern California.

Ice Skating is alive, well and flourishing in Southern California.

      Yes, Southern California; notable for its sunny skies, warm temperatures, palm trees, beach volleyball and freestyle surfing. While quite distant from the winter wonderlands to the north, there is a dedicated local coterie that regularly dons the single blade and takes to the ice for entertainment and sport.

      The Toyota Sports Center (TSC) in El Segundo, CA recently opened a new rink, dubbed “the pond” by its denizens. Designed by Los Angeles-based Pica + Sullivan Architects, Ltd., “the pond” joins the existing NHL and Olympic rinks in the luxe sport and skating complex. Owned by AEG, a world leader in sports and entertainment, the facility is operated by Phoenix-based American Skating Entertainment Company.

      TSC is the official training center of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and serves as home ice for the UCLA hockey team. The complex also houses the NBA Los Angeles Lakers, WNBA Los Angeles Sparks and the D-Fenders of the NBA Development League. The Kings and Lakers corporate offices are located there as well.

      The premier sport and skating complex is home base for Evan Lysacek, the 2010 men’s figure skating Olympic Gold Medalist, and Miria Nagusu, who finished fourth in women’s figure skating in Vancouver. Olympians Michele Kwan, Timothy Goebel, Beatrisa Liang and Carolina Kostner, who skates for Italy, have also trained there.

      The Vancouver Olympic games created an inspirational mood resulting in an influx of new enthusiasts. With the success of its skaters and resident Olympic coaches such as Frank Carroll, TSC has experienced significant growth in the figure skating and Learn to Skate programs.
It became apparent that another “sheet of ice” was needed for elite skaters to train at higher levels, in a safe and controlled environment, separate from the beginner and intermediate patrons.

      The new 11,000 square-ft “pond,” constructed by Long Beach, CA-based general contractor Turelk, Inc., is also an ideal size for youth hockey. Relocating this activity creates availability on the existing rinks and provides flexibility in the programming and scheduling. The multiple and simultaneous activities have created a blizzard of excitement.

      The new rink addition strengthens the Toyota Sports Center’s reputation as a world class skating facility for all ages and skill levels. And having sunny skies and balmy temperatures outside the door is just icing.

Pica + Sullivan Architects, Ltd. specializes in master planning, architectural design and project management for non-profit schools, religious institutions, and social service organizations. Our approach includes hands-on principals who are involved in the project from inception through completion; flexible and responsive staff who have a long history with the firm; a value-engineering approach to design where the cost-benefit is considered throughout; contextual approach to design where an architecture unique to the context is developed for each client; understanding of the non-profit client as a multi-faceted group of constituents; and most importantly multiple projects with most clients which demonstrates the level of confidence and trust that is placed in Pica + Sullivan Architects.


145 S Fairfax Ave Suite 403
Los Angeles, California 90036

Tel: (323) 653 7124