Students and residents around San Francisco State University will have more recreational space once a newly purchased property is converted to grassland before ultimately becoming classrooms for the clinical sciences.
The 2.5-acre site at Font Boulevard and Tapia Drive, which once housed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, will be demolished and turned into a field for recreational purposes, said Nancy Hayes, SFSU vice president and chief financial officer for administration and finance.
The property was purchased for $11.1 million nearly 10 years after SFUSD relocated the school. Eventually, clinical sciences classrooms are to be built on the site, but in the interim the university wanted to make it available to the nearly 5,000 students who live on or around campus.
“It creates a feeling of connectedness,” said Hayes. “Freshmen on campus have interactive games to create team building; some student orgs could use it.”
A pickup soccer game or even practice for intramural sports could take place on the property, Hayes said.
Dorms, student apartments and some academic buildings share a fence with the location, Hayes said. Acquiring and transforming it could provide great access for students.
State funding for property acquisition and capital improvements was used to purchase the site just before a June 30 deadline to use the money, Hayes said.
Any academic buildings to house clinical sciences, such as nursing classes, are many years off, Hayes said. Those projects will have to wait until the state economy improves and new funding can be secured.
SFUSD closed the building in 2002 because it needed “a lot of structural improvements in order to be a suitable location,” district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said.
The school district plans to use money from the sale to pay down debt for other buildings that received improvements. Because it is a real property sale, state law requires the district to only use the money for capital improvements.
Demolition of the current building is happening through the summer and expected to be concluded by October. SFSU is hoping the open field will be ready for use by February.