La Jolla’s The Bishop’s School seeks to further expand its campus

Lisa R. Parker

The Bishop’s School in La Jolla has filed an application with the city of San Diego to amend some of its permits so it can expand the campus.

Bishop’s Chief Operating Officer Pam Duffy said the private school, at 7607 La Jolla Blvd., is “always looking at how we can improve our campus, and we wanted to integrate [another] piece of property we own that wasn’t part of our conditional use permit with the city.”

The property, just south of the school’s driveway entrance facing Draper Avenue, currently has a house and a duplex on it.

“We want to integrate that into the campus and use that parcel in the future for school purposes,” Duffy said.

The land could house new athletic buildings, tennis courts, a visual arts building, a gym and/or a science center.

However, Duffy said the school is in the “beginning stages of a very long process,” with no schedule or specific plans as yet.

“Those are preliminary thoughts on what we could do,” she said.

The Bishop's School is an area bordered by La Jolla Boulevard, Prospect Street, Draper Avenue and Pearl Street.

The Bishop’s School is an area bordered by La Jolla Boulevard, Prospect Street, Draper Avenue and Pearl Street.

(Bing Maps and La Jolla Light)

The school is working on amending its current permits to allow it to absorb the parcel. When plans are drafted, they will go before local planning groups for review, Duffy said.

The project is undergoing environmental review, and the decision to approve or deny the application will be made at a city public hearing. The city has five processes (or levels) of review, depending on the complexity of a project. The Bishop’s project requires Planning Commission and City Council hearings.

The school’s intent is to create “a well-integrated experience” for students and staff, Duffy said. “We’re looking for ways to provide the best experience possible and have the facilities we need to enhance the educational experience. We are looking at what our needs are in line with our strategic goals.”

The application comes as Bishop’s has two other unrelated expansion projects underway.

In September, the school purchased nearby property that formerly housed a Jack in the Box restaurant at 564 Pearl St. The site will be leased in the short term to a yet-to-be-decided tenant, according to the school. In the long term, it will be converted for student use.

Two months later, a proposal to vacate part of Cuvier Street to help make way for a La Jolla Recreation Center renovation was approved by the La Jolla Community Planning Association after years of planning and months of community review. In a street vacation, the city relinquishes a public right of way or public service easement and turns it over to an adjacent property owner or owners. Of the land netted by the vacation, the Rec Center would get 11,106 square feet fronting Prospect Street, while The Bishop’s School would get a southern portion amounting to 8,061 square feet.

The school has not confirmed what would be done with its portion, but it is tentatively planned to be a dance studio. ◆

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