After completing Phase I of University Park and beginning construction on Phase II, I had the opportunity to sit down with Adam Kaye to talk about his background, KIPP Northern California’s expansion into Stockton, and his relationship with PCSD. It’s been a pleasure to work with Adam and Taylan Ekici, Managing Director of Real Estate and Development, and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with KIPP Northern California and to be a part of their continual growth in Stockton.
- Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started with KIPP Northern California?
I’ve been involved with charter schools for about 20 years now. I founded a charter school in Oakland and then I started working for Rocketship Education in 2012, another CMO based out of Redwood City. I was doing real estate for them and was travelling back and forth between Redwood City, San Jose, and Oakland where I live and then saw this opportunity open up at KIPP Northern California where I started in Sept. 2014. So, I’ve been with KIPP Northern California for 8 years now.
- Can you tell us about KIPP Northern California’s expansion into Stockton? What made you decide to expand from a Bay Area focus?
We expanded first and then changed our name. In 2017, we started considering an expansion into Stockton. Our previous CEO was approached by Don Shalvey. We had great conversations with the Superintendent, the Mayor and various community groups in Stockton. It was something that was considered long and hard as we still had a lot of work to do with our existing schools. However, we made the decision to grow into Stockton. All of our current growth is focused on Stockton. We have five schools we are building there. Once we have completed those schools, we will likely be done with our expansion. At that point, we will have 19-20 schools total with five of those in Stockton.
- With the recent completion of Phase I for University Park, what are your plans for the future phases? And can you tell us about Conway Homes?
We’ve begun construction on Phase II – the academic building is going up and the MPR will follow. We will be done by the end of July 2023 and ready for the 2023-2024 school year. We have plans for future and final phase (Phase III) for the 2025-2026 school year which would bring us to a full TK-8 on the University Park campus. We have a total of 56,000-57,000 sqft,
We are about to start work on Phase III of Conway Homes. We currently have six portables and a 6500 sqft converted childcare building. We finished the portables in the 2021-2022 school year and then completed the childcare center for the 2022-2023 school year. We are starting demo shortly and should be ready for the 2023-2024 school year. Additionally, we have plans for a future and final phase (Phase IV) for the 2025-2026 school year.
So, KIPP Northern California in Stockton will have two facility projects completed for the 2023-2024 school year as well as two facility projects for the 2025-2026 school year.
And there’s a future project to complete a high school campus by 2026. We will likely incubate the high school on one of the campuses for the first year. The idea is that University Park and Conway Homes would be feeder schools for the high school.
- How did PCSD support your project/s? Which PCSD service/s helped your project/s the most?
PCSD was the project manager for the projects. They interacted with the GC and the architect in design and construction. We have also been pretty involved with the process. PCSD has been an extension of us for the project but has also served as an intermediary with the GC. They have kept our feet to the fire and kept an eye on everything from beginning to end.
Once PCSD started working on Conway Homes as well, things started heating up, so PCSD provided additional support to help.
- What surprised you the most about working with PCSD on this most recent project?
We appreciated that PCSD listened to our concerns and were able to provide additional capacity. We have increased our communications and are in a lot of meetings with PCSD: organization, design, construction, etc.