Popular private school brand expanding in San Jose
A 14,000 square-foot private school is planned for this 1.5-acre lot in San Jose's Berryessa neighborhood. Photo by Joseph Geha.

    A popular private school owned by a Chinese investment firm is expanding in northeast San Jose.

    Merryhill School, which runs an elementary program on 750 N. Capitol Ave., gained city approval last week for a new school to serve up to 252 students just a mile up the road at 1207 N. Capitol Ave.

    Plans call for the demolition of an existing home on a 1.5-acre lot on the northwest corner of North Capitol Avenue and Ohlone Drive to make way for a 14,000 square-foot facility with 14 classrooms, according to city reports. The school aims to serve children ages six weeks to five years old. About 60 students are estimated to be between six weeks and 23 months old, while the remaining 192 students are estimated to be between two and five years old.

    Though city reports call the facility a day care center, Dan Morrar of InSite EFS, an education real estate consulting firm representing the developer, confirmed the project is an expansion of Merryhill.

    Merryhill Executive Director Connie Shipley didn’t respond to a request for comment, nor did the property owner.

    Children can enroll on a full or part-time basis, and when the school is at maximum capacity, the developer estimates 34 people will be employed at the school, including a principal, vice principal, two administrators and 30 teachers.

    District 4 San Jose Councilmember David Cohen said the single-family home currently on the site is out of place and it’s a reasonable conversion to turn the property into something that better serves the neighborhood.

    “Merryhill has been an important part of the area,” Cohen told San José Spotlight. “It’s great that they’re going to have a nice new facility to offer additional service.”

    In addition to the school building, which will have a food prep area and administrative offices, the project will include three play areas totaling about 9,400 square feet.

    Merryhill’s current San Jose location serves students from kindergarten through fifth grade, and the brand operates an elementary and middle school in Milpitas, which is adding a preschool program this year.

    Merryhill operates schools in multiple states, and is part of Spring Education Group, which is controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited. Primavera is based in Hong Kong with operations in China, Singapore and the United States, according to the school’s website, and is “owned by Chinese persons residing in Hong Kong.”

    Spring Education operates a large portfolio of private school brands beyond Merryhill, including Stratford School and Basis Independent Schools.

    Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

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