• Building on our tradition of academic excellence that has been established over the School’s 130-year history, this plan will give our students and teachers new innovative, multi-disciplinary, K-12 classrooms designed for STEM, makerspaces, and hands-on experiential learning. We will address traffic and safety concerns by taking car drop-off/pick-up off Lincoln Avenue and onto a new loop driveway encircling the new property. We will enhance the quality of student life by providing eight acres of lightly developed property with wooded areas, mature trees, and inviting open fields for outdoor learning, and opportunities for pause and reflection.

    At the same time, we’ll preserve the qualities that have defined Head-Royce throughout our rich history – including our small class sizes and our student-centered, whole-child philosophy. We now find ourselves in the unique position to create a cutting-edge K-12 environment that will match the quality of our renowned academics.

  • The City of Oakland released a Draft Environmental Impact Report on the proposed Head-Royce School South Campus Plan for public comment in November 2021. The public comment period closed in December 2021 and the City of Oakland will now review and respond to each comment before releasing a Final EIR sometime in 2022 and are likely to consider project approval in early 2023. An anticipated timeline for the project, as well as next steps, are available here.

  • Head-Royce School will expand by eight acres, becoming a 22-acre contiguous campus. On the new south side of campus, we will add a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, and renovate three 1920s Spanish-style buildings into 25,000 square feet of new, cutting-edge, STEM-oriented K-12 classroom space. Additionally, with a new tunnel linking the north and south campus, the school will also gain a tunnel-top pavilion to be used as a board room. The eight acres of beautiful hillside habitat will be honed into a natural outdoor classroom with intimate learning areas, walking paths, and play spaces. A two-lane loop driveway will be constructed, encircling the new south side of the campus, for parent pick-up/drop-off.

  • The new South Campus will serve the needs of our students with enhancements that support academic rigor, experiential learning, and a student-centered approach. It will provide students and faculty with educational opportunities they’ve been craving for a long time: cutting-edge labs with tools for ideation, prototype, and design; expansive green-spaces that will promote outdoor, hands-on learning; and a state-of-the-art performing arts and community center. Students and teachers will benefit from dedicated lab space for use in disciplines ranging from robotics and new media, to woodworking and textiles, to the performing arts. These opportunities will encourage students to apply their skillsets in novel ways while developing real-world problem-solving capabilities.

  • The cost of the project will be borne by a fundraising capital campaign, with any funding gap to be addressed by construction phasing and/or possible debt financing. Tuition will not be increased to pay for this building project.

  • A pleasant change from most school construction projects, the majority of construction will occur across the street with minimal disruption to our current operations. The School has had four experiences with major construction on the campus since the 1990s and we’re confident we can maintain a positive school experience even in the midst of a major construction project. Access to and staging for this construction site will be via Lincoln Avenue.

  • We are committed to preserving the small class sizes and student-centered, whole-child philosophy that make Head-Royce renowned. Historically, our enrollment size has grown at a rate of approximately 1% per year. We expect to continue this slow and measured enrollment growth, without compromising class size or individualized student attention. Over future years, we expect to reach a new maximum enrollment threshold of 1,250 students. This gradual increase would be primarily focused in the upper school, where a slightly larger 9-12th grade student body would enhance the student experience through more academic choice, and social and athletic opportunities.

  • In addition to innovative new classroom and outdoor space, the South Campus master plan also enables us to expand access and scholarships at Head-Royce. As part of our application to the city, we have requested permission to expand our student enrollment. The addition of 344 students will create significant new student scholarships, simultaneously expanding access to Head-Royce and increasing funding for students in need of financial aid.

  • Traffic and parking improvements have been informed directly by the feedback we received from our community and developed in consultation with several traffic experts, including those advising the City of Oakland. Student drop-off and pick-up will be greatly enhanced by a new loop driveway encircling the new property, with optimized traffic lights and efficient turning lanes to move the queues off of Lincoln Avenue. Parents will easily park in expanded parking lots to see their child off for the day, connect with school officials, and socialize with fellow parents and staff in a new Welcome Center.

    A series of signalized pedestrian crossings will safely allow students, staff and neighbors to cross Lincoln to access both the North and South sides of campus, much like other “campus” projects in Oakland such as Children’s Hospital. In the future, a pedestrian tunnel may provide the added convenience of a below-grade option for the campus community.

    The new loop driveway will improve the flow of traffic in the area, while ensuring students are able to safely travel to and from pick-up and drop-off. Neighborhood through-traffic will move more smoothly on Lincoln Avenue, while drivers will be able to reverse direction after drop-off without driving through the current neighborhood loop – a benefit to parents and neighbors alike.

    The DEIR document prepared by the City of Oakland finds no significant transportation impacts and finds that the project will not result in a significant increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which is a metric reflecting the number of new vehicle miles of automobile travel attributable to a project. More details about the findings of the DEIR can be found here.

  • In early 2018, the School was able to secure a long-term lease of a practice field at Ability Now Bay Area—a neighboring nonprofit organization. This leased practice field provides much-needed athletic practice space right across the street, which means we do not need to construct a costly new athletic field on a steeply graded property as part of the South Campus Plan. The new eight-acre educational space will provide expansive room for students to play, walk, and learn in a beautiful outdoor setting. And concluding in fall 2021, the athletics field on our main campus is officially getting a makeover with the installation of field turf.

  • The team has thoughtfully proposed a campus design which aims to preserve and enhance the California ecosystem by protecting the existing healthy native trees, removing dead/non-natives, and replacing them with native species in the new design.

  • No historic buildings will be demolished. There are three buildings currently on the South Campus site that are considered to be “historic resources.” These buildings will be preserved and renovated in a way that is consistent with their historic significance.

  • Yes. We’ve drawn on the wide range of expertise among our alumni, parents, faculty, and the entire Head Royce Community—from real estate, finance, law, land-use, city planning, and, of course, education—to create cutting-edge learning spaces designed for the future of education, while at the same time preserving the qualities that have defined Head-Royce throughout our history. Their input guided the South Campus Plan from its earliest stages and helped define our objectives and priorities.

  • The City of Oakland released a Draft Environmental Impact Report on the proposed Head-Royce School South Campus Plan for public comment in November 2021. This independent analysis was developed by the City and a team of environmental consultants with a wide range of expertise. The document analyzes what, if any, project environmental impacts exist, and makes recommendations on how to mitigate those impacts. The public comment period closed in December 2021 and the City of Oakland will now review and respond to each comment before releasing a final EIR sometime in 2022. We anticipate that the City will hold hearings in early 2023 to certify the Final EIR and consider final project approval. If the project is approved, construction should commence shortly thereafter.

  • We want to hear from you! Contact our Director of Community Relations, Mary Fahey, with questions at any time via email (communityrelations@headroyce.org) or phone (510-228-1503).

  • We encourage you to sign up for project updates and check back for information about the release of the Final EIR sometime in 2022.

  • The City of Oakland’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) confirmed that the project will result in a less than significant impact on wildfire risk, and in fact, will decrease risk. The exposure of risk from wildfires is not only mitigated through several measures but the overall safety of the community and School will be significantly enhanced.

  • The South Campus expansion will incorporate several mitigation measures to reduce wildfire risk including:

    • Providing a higher level of vegetation management than what is required under current City standards, thereby reducing the potential of embers being developed, further increasing the wildfire resilience of the community. 
    • Removing dead and dying trees near existing and planned structures and planting new fire-safe landscaping. 
    • Providing more unvegetated open space, roadways and pathways than currently exists, creating expansive fire breaks.  
    • Installing modern fire protection systems in existing on-site buildings included in the expansion.   
    • Using fire-resistive construction materials as required by the California Building and Fire Codes in the construction of new and renovated buildings
  • Should a PSPS occur on campus, the School will be closed for instruction during the shutdown period and no students will be allowed on campus. If the shutdown occurs while the School is in session, the Head of School will make a determination about the remainder of the school day.

  • In the event of a wildfire in the area, parents will be instructed not to come to campus and instead to either wait for the immediate danger to subside while students shelter in place on campus, or to reunify with their student(s) in one of two offsite locations if the decision is made to evacuate the campus (most likely on foot). This will allow first responders better access to streets surrounding the School and ensures optimal vehicular evacuation of the neighborhood in a wildfire.

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead