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$2.7-Million Surplus Reported : Arts Center Exceeds Fund-Raising Goal

September 27, 1986|ALLAN JALON | Times Staff Writer

The Orange County Performing Arts Center has amassed $73.4 million in its construction fund, $2.7 million beyond the building's estimated cost, the Center's fund-raising consultants said Friday, hours before a reception for donors and volunteers who worked in the fund-raising effort.

The reception, at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, followed a preview performance by the Pacific Symphony at the Center, which is scheduled to open Monday with Zubin Mehta conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Spoke to Group

"You have accomplished what no one said was possible," Henry T. Segerstrom told the group at the reception. "The physical aspect was one thing. Everybody wondered if a theater like this could be financed without public funding, and you've done it."

The Segerstrom family donated the land for the center and contributed $6 million to the construction fund.

Earlier in the day, an official familiar with the financing said Center officials knew they could meet the construction price tag of $70.7 million as long as two months ago. A source close to the Center's fund drive said that information was not made public so that contributions would continue to flow in until opening night.

As late as Tuesday, a member of the Center's professional fund-raising team, employees of Gary W. Phillips & Associates, told a reporter that the Center was "very close" to attaining its $70.7-million goal. On Friday, Phillips confirmed that the goal had been surpassed before the beginning of September.

"What we say to the press is absolutely accurate," said Phillips when asked whether he believed the Center had been straightforward about reporting its progress. "We give you the facts, the accurate facts. Listen, the important part of this is Orange County and the important success of this performing arts center."

Phillips said the Center also had collected $3 million in donations in the form of services or materials, such as carpeting and computer equipment.

Center officials said the extra $2.7 million in the construction fund will go toward "enhancements" for the 3,000-seat theater, preparations for another theater with 1,000 seats and the cost of running the facility.

The total amount, including pledges, raised for the Center so far is more than $140 million, Phillips said. Of that, $67 million is in an operating and programming endowment that consists of $65 million in deferred pledges from donors' estates and $2 million in cash, said Roberta Minkler, another consultant with the Phillips firm.

About 30% of the $73.4-million figure that Phillips announced for the construction fund total consists of as-yet-unpaid pledges that donors have one to four years to fulfill, a Center official said. That, at least, was the percentage when the Center did its accounting for the $72.1 million it had in cash and pledges at the end of August, according to an official familiar with the Center's books.

At that time, the official said, the facility was also $12.9 million in debt to the two lending institutions that have been used in the financing of the construction--the Bank of America and Security Pacific National Bank. It is the largest amount the Center has owed, but that is due to a recent flurry of construction bills, the financial official said.

Between the two banks, the Center has a credit line of $18 million, the official added.

Among the members of the Center's board of directors is Richard J. Flamson III, chief executive of the Security Pacific Corp., the bank's holding company.

For both its construction and endowment drives, the Center has received about 1,000 donations of $10,000 or more. And 30 of those were for $1 million or more, according to Minkler.

The largest single gift was the $6 million from the Segerstrom family. About 90% of the money has come from individuals, while the rest is from corporations and foundations, Minkler said.

Times Staff Writer Ted Appel contributed to this article.

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