The Argyros Family Donates $1.5 Million to the Orange County School of the Arts

The public charter school will name its new 9,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Science Center in honor of the Argyros family as part of the school's Masterpiece in the Making campus completion campaign.

Jul 13, 2015, 09:00 ET from Orange County School of the Arts

SANTA ANA, Calif., July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With a generous gift that underscores the interplay between the arts and academics, the Argyros family has made a generous $1.5 million donation to the Orange County School of the Arts' (OCSA) Masterpiece in the Making campaign to support the completion of the science wing in the new 60,000-square-foot dance, music, and science centers being built on the school's midtown Santa Ana campus. The Argyros Science Center will house eight new 1,000-square-foot science labs, featuring Smart Boards and Wi-Fi connectivity for student devices, as well as built-in workstations, which will be equipped with fume hoods and able to accommodate both Life Science and Physical Science instruction.

OCSA began construction on the new facility in the summer of 2014 and is on schedule to open its doors on August 16, 2015. This project marks a major milestone for OCSA, as for the first time, the school is building a new specialized instructional facility from the ground up instead of renovating existing commercial and historic buildings. The completion of this project will further establish OCSA as one of the premier charter arts schools in the nation. 

Nationally and locally renowned philanthropists, Ambassador George Argyros, his wife Julia and daughter Lisa, are longtime supporters of education, the arts, and sciences. The Argyros Science Center at OCSA will be a fusion of these interests, helping to create the next generation of innovators and artists. "Our family has been a major supporter of the Orange County School of the Arts since 2006 and we have watched the school grow and flourish over the years. We have always been very impressed with their innovative curriculum, commitment to excellence, and dedication to the students in the classroom and beyond. We are also excited to be able to support a school that creates an environment where the connection between creativity and academics thrives," said Lisa Argyros, on behalf of the Argyros Family Foundation.

Founder and executive director, Ralph S. Opacic, Ed.D., was thrilled with the commitment of the Argyros family to supporting OCSA's academic program through the Science Center. "The Orange County School of the Arts was recently ranked as the #1 public charter school in California, and generous gifts such as this one will provide even more bright and talented students with a world-class arts and academic education."

The Argyros Science Center is part of a $16.2 million campus completion campaign, of which the school has raised $13.4 million to date. The 60,000-square-foot instructional center also boasts The Marybelle Musco Dance Center, featuring 14 large dance studios, and The Hal & Jeanette Segerstrom Family Music Center, which features 3 instrumental music and choir rehearsal facilities, 16 practice rooms, dressing rooms, and storage areas. The Masterpiece in the Making campaign also includes a central quad and outdoor stage, a new student pick-up/drop-off area, capital equipment acquisition and technology improvements for all programs, as well as expanding the Program Excellence Fund to attract and retain the best arts and academic faculty; increase professional development; expand the guest artists / master teachers program; and invest in enhanced technology and instructional resources.

Under the dynamic leadership of Campaign Co-Chairs Marybelle and S. Paul Musco, Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, and OCSA alumnus Matthew Morrison, as well as Campaign Cabinet Co-Chairs Doug Garn, and Jerry Mandel, Ph.D., OCSA's leadership team is continuing to raise funds for the school's campus completion campaign.

For more information about OCSA's Masterpiece in the Making campaign, contact Catherine Michaels, Vice President of Development, at 714-560-0900, ext. 5532 or

About Orange County School of the Arts:
The nationally recognized Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) provides a creative, challenging and nurturing environment that offers bright and talented students unparalleled preparation for higher education and a profession in the arts. Established in 1987, the school currently serves more than 2,100 gifted students in grades 7-12. OCSA offers students the opportunity to focus on one of the 15 arts conservatories offered including classical & contemporary dance, classical instrumental music, contemporary music, classical voice, commercial dance, creative writing, culinary arts, film and television, integrated arts, international dance, acting, musical theatre, production and design, digital media and visual arts.  OCSA is one of the top scoring academic schools in the State of California, ranking sixth in California, thirteenth in the West, and forty-eighth in the nation.  It is the only specialized arts program of its kind in the region to offer tuition-free academic and arts institution to students from Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. The non-profit school relies solely on private donations, totaling $8 million annually, to fund the 15 arts conservatories offered. For additional information, visit

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SOURCE Orange County School of the Arts