New Expanded Campus FAQ

Jeanne Gang and members of her team work on a model of CCA's new, expanded campus. Jeanne Gang and members of her team work on a model of CCA's new, expanded campus.

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New Expanded Campus and Unification FAQ

Why is CCA unifying and expanding its campus in San Francisco? 
To create a richer learning experience for students. Our new, expanded campus will build a stronger community by bringing all of our programs together for the first time in decades, creating new opportunities for interaction within and outside of our community, and providing more student housing than ever. It’s groundbreaking design will make it a model of sustainability that inspires our students and makes a positive impact in the Bay Area.  

How did CCA come to this decision? 
After nearly a decade of both qualitative and quantitative research, CCA finalized a strategic plan for our future and growth through outreach to our community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees.  During the process, we confirmed that one of our greatest challenges is CCA’s two-campus structure and its effect on teaching and learning inside and outside of the classroom. The physical divide that currently separates our community presents social, logistical, and most importantly, pedagogical challenges. 

We also determined the far-reaching benefits of bringing our academic programs together. These include significantly increasing synergies among disciplines, allowing us to build new, improved, and integrated facilities for making, learning and living, and increasing connections among CCA community members and with leading practitioners, industries, and supporters outside of the college. To read the research that helped inform our decision, you can read the publications Framing the Future and Dream Big! on our website here: 

Who is designing the new, expanded campus? 
Award winning architecture firm Studio Gang was selected to design our new main academic building. In addition, new student housing is being designed by award winning firms LMS Architects and Stanley Saitowitz. The project will also feature renovations of current buildings on-site. 

When will the campus open? 
The campus, including Studio Gang’s newly designed academic building, is slated to open in academic year 2021-22.

How is the new, expanded campus being funded? 
A number of financing strategies will be employed, including a major capital campaign, prudent borrowing, use of reserves built up for this purpose, and leveraging other CCA assets. As in the past, no tuition dollars will be used for campus expansion efforts. 

When, how, and why was Studio Gang selected to design the main academic building for the project? 
After the completion of an international architect search, CCA announced in November 2016 the selection of MacArthur Award-winning architect Jeanne Gang and her firm Studio Gang to design the expanded campus in San Francisco. Through an extensive review process, involving CCA trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, Studio Gang was selected for their visionary work, commitment to innovation and sustainability, and collaborative style. 

Why is CCA expanding in San Francisco and not Oakland? 
CCA was able to purchase a large property adjacent to our San Francisco campus, which allows for the needed expansion. The Oakland campus does not have the space or facilities needed to bring all CCA programs and students together.

Will the new expanded campus include student housing?
Yes. With the rising costs of living in the Bay Area, devising housing strategies for students is crucial. Our goal is to have nearly 1,000 beds on or near the San Francisco campus by academic year 2021-22. Construction is underway on student residences at 75 Arkansas Street, just two blocks from the San Francisco campus, which is expected to open in fall 2018. This project is being developed by CCA trustee Simon Blattner. Another housing project, across the street from the main campus is in the planning stage.

Does this mean that you’re eliminating the Oakland-based (crafts) programs?
No, we do not plan to eliminate any of our programs. We are excited about the possibility of creating new and improved facilities for all kinds of making, including the traditional crafts such as ceramics, jewelry/metal arts, glass, and textiles. By bringing the academic programs together, we hope to create synergies among all our programs in fine arts, crafts, design, architecture, and writing.

What is going to happen to the Oakland CCA property? 
After an extensive search and review process, CCA selected Equity Community Builders and Emerald Fund (ECB/Emerald), to work with us on the Oakland property reuse process. We selected both firms, based on their experience creating places that strengthen and contribute to community vitality. Over the next year, CCA will work with them to develop a vision for the property that honors our artistic legacy with spaces dedicated to artists and the arts, enhances public access to the site, and provides much needed affordable and market-rate housing. The plan will then be submitted to the city in Spring 2018, where it will undergo an approval process. If the proposal is approved, actual construction would not start until 2021-22. 

ECB/Emerald held a series of visioning sessions with CCA’s Board of Trustees, faculty, alumni, staff and students to develop a draft plan for the site. CCA and ECB/Emerald are now in the process of receiving feedback from the community about these projects. Presentations have been made to CCA faculty, staff, and to the Alumni Campus Planning Council, the President’s Alumni Council, and to the Rockridge community. 

Will CCA continue to own the site?
CCA has entered into an option agreement with ECB/Emerald that will allow them to purchase the property after an extensive entitlement process is completed. If ECB/Emerald chooses to purchase the property, they will own it and manage it once it is developed. This agreement enables us to work closely with ECB/Emerald to both develop immediate plans for the property, and help leave a lasting legacy of the arts on the site.