“It’s icing to our turnaround… Compton has become an example for urban districts across the country,” said Compton Unified Board President Satra Zurita.
On November 8, the Compton Board of Trustees unanimously approved the naming of a new, state-of-the-art performing arts complex after hip-hop legend and Compton native Dr. Dre. The Andre ‘Dr. Dre’ Young Performing Arts Center will break ground in 2020, and is being made possible through a contribution of $10 million by Young.
“It is important that we acknowledge and mark the generosity and partnership of Mr. Andre Young, as this is a very historic day in Compton–one that sets the District’s trajectory on a bright path forward,” said Board of Trustee Vice President Micah Ali.
In June, Young announced his $10 million dollar donation toward a performing arts center for Compton High School. He stated, “The performing arts center will be a place for young people to be creative in a way that will help further their education and positively define their future.”
The center will be an extension of a major facilities renovation project planned for Compton High School. The new renovation will be a state-of-the-art facility including an Olympic-size swimming pool, stadium and more. The Compton High School project is being funded by Measure S, which was approved by voters in 2015. The high school will undergo demolition and be built on the same site that was a result of a bond the community supported.
Zurita sees Compton on the move and along with her sister, Councilwoman Janna Zurita, are committed to the forward progression of the city. The CUSD board president believes in the youth and is looking forward to the future generations that will benefit from the new center.
“We’ve increased our graduation rates, it’s above 80 percent now and our dropout rate is down,” said Zurita. “This [center] is going to be a jewel in the center of this community at our brand new Compton High School.”
“I am grateful to Mr. Young, not only for making such contribution to our District and its students, but also for seeing our students as valuable… as having potential and deserving of opportunity,” said Superintendent Darin Brawley.
Zurita also stated that that she is working towards a joint-youth agreement in relation to the performing arts center having additional programs available for youth. She sees the center as a “beacon of light” and place that will inspire pride.
“You have the Cerritos Performing Arts Center and you have the Manhattan Beach Performing Arts Center—we’re going to have our Dr. Dre Performing Arts Center here in Compton,” said Zurita.
“We are a District on a turnaround, and Dr. Dre’s investment is proof of that,” said Ali. “Folks like to say, ‘turn down for what,’ but Compton Unified is turning up for our students!”
Zurita is looking forward to the Compton Unified School District to continue in it’s trajectory of setting a standard. She spoke about the importance of the arts in schools and how most communicate through the arts. She hopes the Dr. Dre Performing Arts Center will help plant deep roots in Compton and give youth something to come home to.
“When you’ve instilled in your young people the foresight to come back and invest in their community, that says a lot about their experience,” said Zurita. “This says something to [Dr. Dre’s] experience and he realizes where it all began and it’s great that he’s investing in the next generation of kids.”