Killefer School – Private Student Housing

Respect Orange had the opportunity recently to sit down with a local developer who is proposing a solution to the student housing crisis that is occurring at Chapman University.  Named Killefer Square, the privately owned project is occurring at the site of the former Killefer School, located between North Lemon and North Olive Street, North of Walnut Avenue.  This historically significant property opened in 1931 and was integrated in 1941, three years before integration became mandatory in California.

Both the school and the proposed privately owned project is named after Lydia Killefer, an Orange school teacher and principal.

The Killefer project is going through its environmental review process right now, but the goal is to develop dorm-style housing that will take more than 350 Chapman students out of residential homes in the community and offer a safe and secure location for them just one block away from the University.  It’ll have two levels of underground parking to alleviate parking issues and because it is privately operated, will provide tax revenue to the city.  The developers are hopeful the project will secure all of its city approvals by the end of this year or the beginning of 2017.

While this project still has many hurdles to clear and processes to go through, the thought of preserving this historic resource is very enchanting.

If there are any questions regarding the project, please view the Killefer Square Fact Sheet, by clicking here, and direct any questions to Mr. Brian Locherie.  Mr. Locherie can be contacted through email and his email address is  If there is any community interest in viewing the project or seeing the renderings, then please reach out to Respect Orange.  We are working with Mr. Locherie on a date for an unofficial public presentation of the project.

RespectOrange has met and communicated with OTPA members regarding this project and OTPA has concerns regarding the impact on the surrounding community, specifically with vehicular traffic, commercial traffic (food service delivery and trash removal) foot traffic, noise, street parking, etc.  Additionally, OTPA has concerns that privatized housing would not be subject to the same oversight as Chapman-owned on campus housing.

While RespectOrange is not taking a position on this project, the organization believes the community should be aware of the project to research and find additional information to form individual opinions.

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