Board Approves Permits for New East Village Charter School

A project manager said that if all goes according to plan, Urban Discovery Academy will open by fall 2014

Permits for a newly proposed charter school in downtown San Diego’s East Village community were approved by a board Wednesday, meaning plans will move forward.

The city-owned non-profit, Civic San Diego (CivicSD), held a public hearing to discuss the issuing of several permits for the Urban Discovery Academy project.

Ultimately, the CivicSD board voted 4-0 to approve the permits and give the charter school proposal the green light, Brad Richter, assistant vice president of planning for CivicSD, confirmed Thursday.

Project manager Evan Gerber told NBC 7 that if all goes according to plan, the charter school will be in session by fall 2014.

“We’re moving fast,” he said. “It’s a very exciting project.”

Gerber said the charter school will likely have between 330 and 450 students enrolled in classes. The project manager said the school will aim to give families with students living in the urban downtown area an accessible education option.

Per the proposal, the project would consist of a K-8 charter school located on a 36,000-square-foot site at the corner of 14th and G streets in the East Village.

The school would be housed within an existing 20,000-square-foot, two-story building at that location, plus a new two-story, 16,000-square-foot building directly to the north.

The proposed project within the plan area would also include a four-story, 47-foot-high building containing six residential units, a small retail ground-floor space along 13th Street and outdoor playgrounds.

Also in the plan: a small parking lot at the southwest corner of 14th and E streets that would accommodate student pick-up and drop-off functions.

For now, it is anticipated that vehicles will line up along eastbound E Street to pull into the parking lot to pick up and drop off students. However, as things develop, that parking lot may be dropped from the project.

Urban Core Development, LLC, is the company applying for the permits. The project requires permits for new construction and a Neighborhood Use Permit to re-establish previously conforming educational uses on the site, according to CivicSD.

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