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March 6, 2020

Dear Members of the Studio City Community,

Even as we focus our attention on the effect of the coronavirus on the health and safety of our community and the world, we are continuing our work for the future of Harvard-Westlake. I am excited to share the news that we have filed our initial application with the City of Los Angeles for the proposed Harvard-Westlake River Park campus. This officially kicks off the project entitlement process.

The Harvard-Westlake River Park campus will be an athletic center and community park located on Whitsett Avenue less than a mile from Harvard-Westlake’s upper school campus in Studio City. Harvard-Westlake purchased the site over two years ago and shared our first draft site plan with the community last summer. Since then, the school has conducted numerous meetings to gather invaluable feedback that has shaped our revised proposal.

We are proud that the River Park plan adheres to all of the design principles we articulated when we first purchased the property. The plan preserves urban open space through low-density development and affirms our commitment to the environment through investments in water reclamation systems, solar energy, and extensive landscaping. It also maintains Harvard-Westlake’s commitment to community access to much of the property, including both the public River Park and athletic facilities.

The plan includes two athletic fields, one with a track around it; gymnasium complex; swimming pool; eight tennis courts; and underground parking. The revised plan includes a number of new features that address concerns articulated by community stakeholders in our conversations over the last several months. In particular, our proposal:

  • Preserves the clubhouse, café, and putting green for community enjoyment.
  • Adds an earthen berm along the northern edge of the property to shield the neighborhood from noise.
  • Creates an upgraded outdoor community gathering space.
  • Reduces the size of the gym.

The complete revised River Park plan can be viewed at www.hwriverpark.com. The website offers project details, updated renderings, a draft development timeline, and an extensive list of FAQs.

Over the coming months, Harvard-Westlake will conduct formal public meetings as part of the entitlement process. In the meantime, we remain eager to meet with interested members of the community – parents, alumni, and neighbors – on an individual basis to answer your questions and hear your concerns. If you’d like to speak with a member of the project team about the River Park, please contact Stacy Marble, Director of Public & Community Affairs, at smarble@hw.com or 818-487-6601. We look forward to talking with you.

And if you have not already done so, please visit the River Park website to register your support for this important project. Your support is sincerely appreciated!

Regards,


Rick Commons
Charles B. Thornton President and Head of School