A little more than a year after opening a School of Rock location in Old Town Elk Grove, the business’s owners are preparing to open their second location in Roseville.
“We anticipate opening (in Roseville) in February 2019,” said Jason Kline, who owns the Elk Grove location in the historic Oddfellows Building with Cecilia Yi.
The couple acquired the former Leroy Hotel at 228-232 Vernon St. in Roseville in 2015, prior to the opening of Elk Grove’s School of Rock. The hotel dates back to the 1920s and once housed railroad workers and other residential tenants.
School of Rock will use 3,800 square feet on the building’s second floor. Two other tenants will occupy the structure.
With the exception of the large rehearsal hall at Elk Grove’s School of Rock, the Roseville location is similar in size to the site in Elk Grove.
One aspect of the building that attracted Kline and Yi was its former hotel rooms.
“When we went in, we saw that it was divided into individual rooms, about 20 or so,” Kline said. “We said, ‘Wow, all these individual rooms make really good lesson rooms.’ So, that was one of the main reasons we purchased the building.”
Because of the many former hotel rooms, the Roseville site will have more lesson rooms than the School of Rock in Elk Grove.
Kline said renovating the old hotel has been challenging.
“(The Roseville structure) hadn’t seen the light of day or any care or any business operating in seven-plus decades, probably, since it was the old Leroy Hotel,” he said. “Of course, we had to gut it, because the second story (had) lath and plaster, knob and tube, the whole nines, similar to what we’ve done here (in Elk Grove).”
Altogether, workers hauled 50 tons of lath and plaster from the second story of the building.
Kline added that work on the building included the removal of old mattresses from the days when the hotel was operating. The building is also required to have an elevator, which has not yet been installed.
The soon-to-be-opened School of Rock in Roseville is part of a larger improvement project in downtown Roseville, Kline explained.
“Roseville is very supportive, because they have put, I would say, many, many, many millions (of dollars) in the infrastructure, from parking garages to multifamily apartments with more lofts, with retail below,” he said. “So, it’s becoming a district in terms of art, food, wine, beverage, the local coffee shops and restaurants.”
Kline noted that with the success of the Elk Grove School of Rock, the timing is good to open the Roseville location of the performance-based music program.
“It has been very successful,” he said. “We have 230 kids, which is a few hundred families, essentially. We have two adult programs in Elk Grove, and the interest is phenomenal in Roseville, as well. They have a lot of kids up there.”
The Elk Grove location currently has 18 teachers, and the Roseville location will be launched with six teachers, the majority of whom are multi-instrumentalists. Kline and Yi plan to eventually have about the same number of teachers at each location.
David Hicks, a vocal instructor at the School of Rock in Elk Grove, will work as the music director and assistant general manager at the Roseville location.
Kline said he and Yi plan to dedicate the majority of their working hours to the Elk Grove location, but will make weekly visits to the Roseville site.
Kline added that he is excited that he will soon present more kids with opportunities to participate in the School of Rock experience.
“We just want a lot of kids experiencing School of Rock, because there’s nothing else on Earth like it,” he said.