At Bishop O’Dowd High School, we believe that every student is unique and has the potential to create positive change within themselves, in their communities and in the world. With every generation, we nurture students’ gifts so they may go on to help build a more just, joyful, sustainable world.
In March 2021, we began building the O’Dowd Center on campus, a place that will support the heart of the O’Dowd experience beyond the classroom, serving our entire community. Designed to host a wide range of activities, the Center will give our community a new place to learn, to perform, to compete and to worship.
We will keep this page and our Cor Unum campaign website updated with construction progress on this exciting, transformative project. Bookmark this page, bishopodowd.org/campusupdate, and return for updates.
Visit the Cor Unum Campaign website for a virtual tour of the O’Dowd Center and more.
Read President J.D. Child’s reflections on the meaning, purpose, and impact of O’Dowd’s co-curricular programs and the important ways they enhance student formation, learning, growth, and leadership.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will this new building bring to the O’Dowd community?
Where will the O’Dowd Center be located on campus?
What programmatic benefits will the O’Dowd Center provide?
- A Place for All to Gather & Foster Student Growth – The O’Dowd Center will provide a space large enough for the entire school to come together as one, addressing a critical need. The entire school community of faculty, staff, and students will gather in the new gymnasium for Mass and other faith-based activities, assemblies to celebrate the diverse range of student cultures, as well as student rallies and time- honored school traditions and events. Deepening a sense of belonging is at the heart of who we are as a Catholic school.
- Two New Classrooms A multi-purpose classroom with advanced audio-visual presentation capabilities will serve as a flexible space for instruction, presentations, club meetings and events for students, faculty, parents and alumni. An additional much-needed general classroom will enhance learning opportunities.
- Music Studio A professionally designed music studio will accommodate the program’s instructional, practice, recording and equipment requirements. Advanced music students and small ensemble groups will have dedicated practice rooms to develop their talent and enrich their performance.
- Drama Studio The new drama studio will provide the flexibility to adapt for rehearsals, classroom instruction, and space for smaller and more intimate performances. It will complement the existing 325-seat theater and position O’Dowd’s performing arts program to attain even greater heights.
- Gymnasium Athletics is the largest co-curricular program on campus with over 70% of students participating. The new O’Dowd Center will feature a full-size competition court that will triple our current seating capacity, enabling O’Dowd to host many more post-season competitions as well as support the school’s robust athletic practice, training and competition needs.
- Athletic Performance Lab Critical to O’Dowd’s comprehensive athletics performance program, our athletic trainers and coaches will have a new modern space with improved equipment and sports medicine resources to optimize care for our students at every stage of fitness. With more than 3,000 student visits per year, O’Dowd’s strength and conditioning staff serve and support elite caliber athletes, young developing athletes and students aspiring to a more active lifestyle.
Why is this new project a priority?
With such significant investments in the academic spaces on campus, O’Dowd is now turning to co-curricular enhancements for athletics, performing arts, all-school gatherings and more. Building the Center is critical to meeting students’ needs and ensuring O’Dowd’s excellence for generations to come.
Will constructing the O’Dowd Center increase the enrollment of the school?
How will the O’Dowd Center be funded?
I’ve heard there is a matching grant from a foundation?
Who is leading this effort?
When will construction begin and end?
How will the construction of the O’Dowd Center impact school operations?
Most of the O’Dowd campus will not be affected. The baseball/softball field will be repurposed during construction, and those sports activities will be moved off-site from March 2021 – August 2022. We will identify both on- and off-campus locations for other programs that use the upper field. The music and drama classrooms will have a new temporary home on campus during this time.
Every effort will be taken to minimize inconvenience and we will schedule the most disruptive work during school vacations. Additional details will be shared as they become available.
How will parking be affected?
Where will music and drama programs be held during the ’21-’22 school year?
How will O’Dowd field sports be affected?
Is the school still pursuing acquisition plans for the adjacent property?
Future development of the reservoir site is years away and will involve extensive outreach and planning with our community, our neighbors, and the City of Oakland.