PCSD Interns: What I Learned from a Project Manager

Who did you meet with today?

Today I met with:

Mary Grace Houlihan, Project Manager, PCSD

Jennifer Afdahl Rice, Executive Director, Northern California, PCSD

Where do they work? What does the company do?

The Pacific Charter School Development [Northern California] team is located in Downtown Oakland, supporting the community of Oakland with more accessible schools. The PCSD team works with many different branches of design and project management, using space that benefits the community with nearby schools, working out plans, such as architectural designs, facilitating community meetings, and writing up the numbers.

What did you learn today? What were some highlights?

Today I met with the PCSD staff through Zoom, speaking on the topic of “Entitlements” and “Architectural Design” - the layout of how a historical building can be repurposed for a school.


Being able to see the process of making a new school through the use of the “Schematic Design”.

What insights did you gain into the field of real estate development?

I gained an awareness of how a school's present and future problems can limit/cap the “nice to haves” (ex. library, swimming pool, gym) a school can include.

What did you find the most interesting about the field after today?

I found the ability to repurpose a historical building very innovative and intriguing because it makes up for wasted space that now supports its community.

Mary Grace presenting on entitlements and design.