The cost of constructing the Orange County Performing Arts Center's 3,000-seat multipurpose theater in Costa Mesa will be "substantially" higher than the $57.3 million projected in 1983, center officials reported Tuesday.
Center officials have declined to announce the final cost estimated for the theater, which is still projected to open in October, 1986. But sources close to the project say the figure will exceed the previous estimate by $6 million to $8 million or more.
The increase, center officials say, is due to stage-house design and other technical changes, plus inflation and rising loan-interest payments. A "full-scaled" fiscal review by Thomas Kendrick, the center's new executive director, is scheduled to be presented to the center's board Oct. 15.
"I know of no major arts center that hasn't undergone these same (cost) changes," said Kendrick, the former Kennedy Center director of operations, who took over the Orange County post Sept. 9. "You will find this true in any project of this complexity and magnitude--especially this one (in Orange County), which offers a unique acoustical design."