SF green lights CCA art school expansion

After 27 years in San Francisco, officials at the California College of the Arts are hoping to expand their Potrero Hill campus — and with the red tape cleared by city officials, all signs point to go.

The expansion of the private college would mean higher student enrollment and the opportunity to keep up with current trends and technologies in the art and design fields. All of which, said director of campus planning David Meckel, requires more space.

He told the SF Examiner:

“If we could grow a little bit, it allows for a richer environment for students to grow in. We don’t have ridiculous expansion plans.”

But first, the school, located at 8th and Hooper Streets, needed special approval from The City.

In order to expand into the vacated lot behind one of the school’s main buildings, the San Francisco Planning Commission agreed last month to create a special-use district for the development. This was necessary because the zoning in the neighborhood changed four years ago, and would have otherwise prohibited the school’s growth.

With the addition of several buildings, college officials hope to raise its enrollment from approximately 1,900 students to 2,500.

Additionally, erecting dorm space could provide up to 750 beds. Currently, the only option the school offers for housing is at its Oakland campus.

The California College of the Arts was founded in 1907 in Berkeley and moved to Potrero Hill in 1986. The school has 21 undergraduate programs and 11 graduate programs in art, design, architecture and writing.