The Oakland Planning Commission is scheduled tomorrow to review plans for a new 400-student charter high school at 1045 Derby Avenue in Fruitvale, Oakland. The applicant is Education for Change Public Schools, a charter management organization operating six separate schools with over three thousand students in Fruitvale and Elmhurst. Construction will replace the former campus for Epic Charter middle school, which operated between 2014 and 2018 before city orders led to an abrupt closure.
In the planning commission documents for tomorrow’s meaning, the city staff writes to the reasoning for the abrupt 2018 closure that caught many students and parents flat-footed:
“In 2018, EFC obtained a new charter from the State Department of Education to operate a high school, the Latitude 37.8 High School, at the Project site. EFC submitted an application to the Bureau of Planning in 2019 to legalize the school due to the lack of City land use approvals. Upon review of the proposal, staff discovered that the Project site was previously on the Cortese List due to leaking underground storage tanks that were removed in 1997, and that the site was only cleared for industrial uses. Epic Charter School Middle School closed in 2018 and Latitude High School moved to Merritt College prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning.”
Construction will be split into two phases. The first phase will convert a former Caltrans building and EFC buildings to school use, removing accessory structures, adding parking, and repaving 0 29th Avenue. By the end of phase one, the site will be operable for all 400 students and 33 staff members. Phase two will demolish a one-story building and 14 parking spots for a 17,500 square foot multi-purpose building. A total of 72 parking spaces will be included on-site. Phase one will last between one and three months, while phase two could last about one to two years.
The campus will be ten minutes away from the Fruitvale BART Station on foot.
San Jose-based Artik Art & Architecture, led by Principal Martin Hochroth, is responsible for the design. Illustrations show the structure will be streamlined to allow for an affordable and efficient construction job.
The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, August 4th, at 3 PM. For information on how to join and participate, see the meeting agenda here.