Lease-Leaseback Project To Provide Locally Made Lunches to District

Oakland Unified School District
Lease-Leaseback Project To Provide Locally Made Lunches to District

Central Kitchen, Urban Farm and Education Center

Bay Area General Contractor Thompson Builders is finalizing pre-construction of the Oakland Unified School District’s Central Kitchen, Instructional Farm and Education Center, a nutritional services hub that will provide fresh and healthy meals served up cafeteria style to nearly 40,000 Oakland students each day. Working in conjunction with architect firm Cody Anderson Wasney Architects, Inc. for almost a year, this lease-leaseback job is comprised of a 30,000-square-foot central kitchen, an education center, and a 1.5 acre urban farm to be completed at a later phase. 

“Lease-leaseback allows us to get into the job prior to actual construction, so we’re able to provide input on materials used and make estimating adjustments as the plan develops,” says Clayton Fraser, vice president of business development at Thompson Builders. “It gives us a head start on the nuts and bolts of the job rather than jumping in right before it’s time to break ground.” 

The Center will be built on the site of Marcus Foster Elementary School and will offer educational classroom programs developed in partnership with the Center for Ecoliteracy as well as access to a demonstration farm for STEM learning, environmental science and career-based educational programs. For parents of kids enrolled in Oakland Unified, the Center can’t come soon enough.

“We’re hoping to break ground in late January or early February of next year, and expect the job  to be completed in about 16 months,” says Fraser, who’s overseen numerous school projects to date.  “Thanks to the lease-leaseback contracting method, we’ve had a year of pre-construction to review all components of the job to help us stay on schedule once production starts.” 

Partnering with Minority Contractors

Because Oakland Unified is heavily involved in minority contracting, Thompson will be working with two joint venture partners, Oakland-based Eclipse Electric and Digital Design Communications, during this $38-million job.

“The minority requirements of the contract trickle down to us subbing out a minimum of 50 percent of the work to local, certified minority companies, which really gives the job a community feel,” says Fraser.

Although the two joint venture partners will be handling the majority of electrical work, Thompson will provide a large chunk of construction on site, including a greenhouse and planter beds for growing, both the main kitchen and outdoor kitchen spaces and all classrooms and administration offices.

“At the end of the day, we’re a building contractor. We build buildings to serve our communities,” concludes Fraser. 

Additional Oakland Unified projects completed by Thompson Builders:

• Oakland High School, Modernization, $23 million
• Cesar Chavez Education Center, New Construction, $22 million
• Cox Elementary School, New Addition and Modernization, $16 million
• Montclair Elementary School, New Addition, $15 million
• Redwood Heights Elementary School, Modernization, $6 million
• Garfield Elementary School, Modernization, $6 million
• Edna Brewer Elementary School, Modernization, $5 million
• Parker Elementary School, New Addition and Modernization, $5 million
• Bella Vista Elementary School, Modernization, $2 million

Back to the Media Center