In a crowded chamber on September 19, 2023, the Oakland City Council denied the appeal and unanimously paved the way for Head-Royce to break ground on the South Campus this fall.
The first few phases of the plan include an internal Loop Driveway, taking single occupancy drop-off and pick-up off Lincoln Avenue and onto the school’s private property, significantly easing traffic congestion. The school is also adding a turn lane and traffic signal, and upgrading the existing signals at pedestrian crosswalks—which currently operate at timed intervals 24/7—so they are no longer stopping traffic when no one is crossing. Three historic buildings will be renovated and restored, and an additional newer building will also be remodeled, opening up spaces for STEM classrooms, Welcome and Collaboration Centers, and administrative offices. The eight acre property will be lightly developed with landscaping as well as outdoor areas for teaching and gathering. The Plan also incorporates wildfire mitigation measures and evacuation protocols that far surpass the City’s requirements.
A later phase of the project will include a Performing Arts Center, Link Pavilion, storage facility, and an underground pedestrian tunnel linking the North and South campuses. Over a 20-year period, the school will slowly increase enrollment, simultaneously creating opportunities for deserving students from all financial backgrounds to attend.
Nearly 350 Head-Royce champions sent letters of support to the City, which echoed the positive feedback the project receive from Planning Commissioners, who commended the school for proactively finding solutions to ensure a win-win for both the school and neighborhood.
The approval of the South Campus Plan represents a significant milestone for the school, which has owned the property since early 2013. In addition to easing traffic congestion, offering 125 jobs to local construction workers and creating an innovative space for learning, it also returns the parcel to its historical use—nearly 100 years—of serving children.