Unique Renovation Project Destined to Become Downtown Cultural Amentity

E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts recently opened its doors to the public, further reinforcing the flourishing performing arts scene in downtown Sacramento. Destined to be a premier cultural amenity for Sacramento, the renovated facility provides a place for both professional and community-based arts groups.

This unique space is designed to provide studios for art groups, performance and event space, and a gathering place for neighbors and artists alike. Originally envisioned as a cost prohibitive new building, the new Raley Studios is providing the same physical space while rehabilitating a historic property for less than a third of the proposed new building cost. The facility includes two professional dance studios and three class studios for Sacramento Ballet, an Irish dance studio, theater spaces, musical education studios, French cultural space, a 200-seat auditorium, offices, storage, and proposed café space.

Formerly the Fremont School for Adults in midtown Sacramento, this adaptive reuse project—designed by Dreyfuss and Blackford Architects— included extensive seismic upgrades to the 1921-era brick building. The high ceilings throughout the building made it ideal for performing arts rehearsal and teaching space.

Hazardous material abatement was conducted throughout the building and the main bathrooms were completely redesigned to provide showers and changing facilities for the performing groups. The exterior brick was carefully cleaned per historic preservation standards and ADA access points were updated.

Structurally Sound

To convert the conventional building to open studio space, new spread footings, exposed post tension cables, and innovative steel support beams were precisely installed, allowing for the removal of nearly all concrete support columns and beams within the space.

“Historic rehabs are fertile ground for financial disaster. We walked into a 50,000-square-foot rehab of a 1921 unreinforced mason structure with a tight contingency and visions of a performing arts complex, and Rudolph and Sletten flat-out delivered.
Every GC talks about teamwork, trust and respect, but in 30 years of managing projects, no construction team has performed on those ideals as unwaveringly or as professionally as Rudolph and Sletten’s executives, managers and superintendents did on this one, and the board and I are delighted.” Richard Rich, Mosaic Partners, LLC


Raley Studios 47,000-square-foot arts center is now home to a diverse mix of dance, music and cultural groups. Current studio tenants include:

  • Sacramento Ballet
  • Alliance Française de Sacramento
  • Brazilian Center for Cultural Exchange of Sacramento
  • McKeever School of Irish Dance
  • Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy


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