The University of San Francisco (USF) has received approval to move ahead with plans to construct 155 units of student housing, which will provide 600 beds for its undergraduate students.
To make room for the new building, the old ROTC barracks, located in the upper Lone Mountain campus, will be demolished, as well as the tennis courts behind them and an asphalt lot with 78 parking spaces.
There will also be a 4,000-square-foot addition to the dining hall and a new 1,600-square foot recycling and waste management structure, which will replace the current facility.
The ROTC program will move across the street to the lower campus in the Koret Health and Recreation Center building, into an addition that will be “tucked” into the middle of the building so it will not be noticeable from Stanyan Street. The entrance will be at the back side of the building, near the soccer field.
At an SF Planning Commission meeting on March 15, a legislative aide to District 1Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, Ian Fregosi, told the commission that Fewer supports the plan.
“We need more affordable housing in the Richmond District and the rest of the City. These types of projects really align with our goals of affordability in District 1,” Fregosi said. “Building housing for students is going to free up affordable housing for other residents by reducing the number of students who have to compete for housing in the neighborhood.
“Projects like this really allow rent-controlled areas around USF to be more stabilized by opening them up for potentially longer-term residents, as opposed to folks who are moving in and out every year,” he said.
“We’ve been really impressed with the outreach USF has done to really involve the community in this process and build consensus. Our office has received no complaints or opposition.”
USF President Rev. Paul Fitzgerald also addressed the commission.
“This project was many years in the making and it is a great opportunity for us to bring 600 of our undergraduate students onto campus,” Fitzgerald said. “Students who live on campus, they do better academically, they do better socially. It also takes students out of the neighborhoods, which quiets the neighborhoods. This is a project that will have a very favorable impact on traffic.
“We need to relocate our recycling and trash unit. We’re going to move it much further away from neighbors. We’re also going to close it on three sides, so smell and noise will be abated. And it’s going on site where our current trash unit is located already,” Fitzgerald said.
“Our ROTC battalion (dates back to) 1936; It’s the oldest on the West Coast and we’re very proud of it. We want to continue to offer them the facilities they need for the cadets to get a great education, including in the military sciences and their physical conditioning,” he added.
The commission granted the university a Conditional UseAuthorization to proceed with the planned demolition and construction with a unanimous vote.
– Thomas K. Pendergast