Campaign seeks funding to preserve Anna Head School

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The community-led campaign Saving Anna Head School raises awareness of the dilapidated state of Anna Head School and calls on campus administrators to provide funds to help preserve it.

Located on Channing Way across from Crossroads, Anna Head School was founded in 1887 by Anna Head, a pioneer in women’s education and a campus alumnus. Since then, the school has trained thousands of students, many of whom were eventually admitted to UC Berkeley, according to the Saving Anna Head School website and an email from the chairman of the Saving Anna board. Head School, Paul Chapman.

Anna Head School’s operations were moved to Oakland in 1964 and renamed Head-Royce School, the website says. The website adds that in the 1950s UC Berkeley obtained the rights to the school buildings through a prominent estate.

According to campus spokesperson Kyle Gibson, three of the six buildings that make up the school have since been completely renovated, including the creation of a student counseling center and Alumnae Hall.

Gibson said in an email that while some buildings have been renovated, three buildings are still in need of renovations. These buildings house the Institute for the Study of Social Problems, or ISSI. Gibson noted that the condition of these buildings is uncertain and that ISSI has had to adjust its operations to accommodate members of the community with disabilities.

“Decades of reduced state support to the University of California have limited the ability of each campus to handle deferred maintenance,” Gibson said in the email. “With limited capacity, it is difficult to implement the full range of capital projects needed to address our deferred maintenance backlog. “

Gibson noted that the cost of renovating the three buildings is over $ 40 million, making funding the biggest hurdle.

Chapman acknowledged the challenges of funding the campus in an email, but said Anna Head School deserved to be prioritized and preserved because of its historical significance.

“For the students currently attending Cal, it is essential that they have a visible reminder of the history of the early days of the university which has now grown into one of the best in the world,” Chapman said in the e- mail.

Chapman added that Saving Anna Head School was “encouraged” when he learned that the campus had already allocated funds to cover the buildings and was seeking funds to provide lights, cameras and fences for the buildings.

The campaign’s end-of-year review suggests creating housing in university residences on the site of the three non-renovated buildings. Chapman said it would generate income while tackling the student housing problem.

“Building a dormitory would help the University meet its goal of adding more than 11,000 student beds over the next decade,” Chapman said in the email. “We think this idea would be welcomed by a broad cross section of the community, including the city of Berkeley.”

Karen Vo is the leading student journalist. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @karenvo_DC.

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