See Drawings of City College of San Francisco's New Gateway Building

The $133 million facility will be a one-stop shop for student services and open up the campus to the community.

Building rendering at dusk.
A rendering of the Student Success Center. | Courtesy City College of San Francisco

In early August City College of San Francisco finished demolishing the squat administrative building called Conlan Hall that hid behind trees at the prominent corner where Ocean Avenue, Geneva Avenue and Frida Kahlo Way meet.

In its place, a new $133 million two-story student services building will serve as a connection between the campus and the neighborhood, acting as a gateway for new students and the community.

Instead of turning away from the bustling street, building designs show a new entry with a huge corner staircase, plants and trees, seating and bioretention swales to control stormwater.

A rendering of the second floor of the Student Success Center. | Courtesy City College of San Francisco

The Student Success Center will consolidate more 30 student-serving programs ranging from academic counseling to the career center.

The project is funded by bonds passed by voters in 2001, 2005 and 2020. XL Construction and Gensler are the design and build team for the project.

Building rendering
The Student Success Center's glass section faces the busy Ocean Avenue intersection. | Courtesy City College of San Francisco

Architectural renderings show a distinct building, half modern glass facade and the other terra cotta harking back to the college's first building, the 1940-built Science Hall designed by Art Deco master Timothy Pflueger.

"The central atrium connects public programs in the glass portion of the building to private programs in the terra cotta portion, and provides a gateway to the rest of the campus," Gensler architect Marissa Yee wrote in a project overview.

A rendering of the interior of the Student Success Center with Bighorn Mount Ram on display. | Courtesy City College of San Francisco

Art Relocation

Three major pieces of the college's surprisingly robust art collection along with a gallery will be placed in and around the new building.

Sentinels, 1973 bronze sculpture by Aristides Demetrios, that had been in front of Conlan Hall for decades will stand in the gateway staircase at Ocean Avenue and Frida Kahlo Way. The San Francisco Arts Commission approved the relocation in March.

Bighorn Mountain Ram, which had been inside Conlan Hall's lobby, will be displayed in the Student Success Center. It was carved by Dudley Carter in 30 days from a single California redwood log at Art in Action at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940, after which it was given to the college. The ram is the college's mascot. Carter is shown carving the ram in Diego Rivera's fresco priceless Pan-American Unity.

The Whales, a sculpture of twin killer whales, or Orcas, has moved many times since its 1939 debut at the World's Fair on Treasure Island. It will have a permanent home at the center, according to Associate Vice Chancellor Alberto Vasquez.

The college's Roger Baird Gallery, named after an art instructor, will eventually be set up in the Student Success Center.

Plans for the building once included placing the college's stone replica of an Olmec head outside the building. The work, called El Rey, San Lorenzo #1 will now be placed at the Diego Rivera Theater.

The Student Success Center is expected to be completed in December 2024.

Update: Information about the placement of a statue and gallery has been added.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that the college will no longer place its replica Olmec head at the Student Success Center.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to The Ingleside Light.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.