Roseville approves sale of downtown building for University of Warwick

Last Updated: 9/4/2017

401 Oak Street

The Roseville City Council on Wednesday March 15, 2017 approved the sale of Fire Station 1 in Downtown Roseville to be converted into the home of a graduate school campus for the University of Warwick, one of the top universities in the United Kingdom.


For the University of Warwick, a world-renowned research institution, the 42,000 square foot building at 401 Oak Street provides its first location in the United States and will complement its plan to build an undergraduate campus on 600 acres west of Roseville in Placer County.

For Roseville, the downtown graduate school fulfills the City's vision of creating a more vibrant city center and increasing the number of higher education institutions within the city and region.

The fire station, built in 1974, is being replaced by a new fire station two blocks from the existing station in Downtown Roseville.  Construction on the new fire station is scheduled to begin this spring with completion expected in the spring of 2018.

“It’s taken patience and perseverance for the City Council to pursue this vision for downtown Roseville,” said City Manager Rob Jensen. “Bringing Sierra College and now Warwick University downtown, developing and activating the town square, and upgrading utility and transportation infrastructure has required diligence and commitment from our staff and many partners. It’s a complete change from how downtown looked five years ago and the pace of transformation will be even faster in the future.”


"The University of Warwick is delighted to partner with the City of Roseville and the University Development Foundation to create a unique, high-quality graduate school in downtown Roseville," said Professor Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor and President of The University of Warwick. “We look forward to building innovative graduate programs that serve the region and prepare future leaders.”

The effort to bring the University of Warwick to California has been spearheaded by the University Development Foundation, a nonprofit established to help build a world-leading research university in Placer County.

“With Warwick, we have found the right match,” said Kyriakos Tsakopoulos, President of the University Development Foundation. “We appreciate the City of Roseville’s effort to create this great opportunity for Warwick and our region. This location for a graduate program is a great step toward our goal of expanding higher education opportunities and seeing a world-leading university built in our community.”

The graduate campus will be led by Professor Sean Hand, who was named Warwick’s first Dean for its U.S. graduate campus last year. The programs are pending subject to regulatory approval in California.

“Of all the choices to locate this graduate campus, we were immediately taken by the opportunity to locate in the heart of downtown Roseville and to become an integral part of this community,” Dean Hand said. “We are a civic university and this location allows us to be a part of all the great advancements that are happening in downtown Roseville.”

In developing undergraduate and graduate campuses in Placer County, the University of Warwick plans to build on existing relationships it has with higher education institutions in California and the United States for joint research and studies.

The undergraduate campus is to be located within 1,159 acres in Placer County identified as the Regional University Specific Plan, located just west of Roseville. The land was donated to the University Development Foundation by the Angelo and Sofia Tsakopoulos family, William and Claudia Cummings, the Wayne L. Prim family and more than 40 members of the Placer 2780 partnership. 

“We are really starting to see this brilliant, creative idea become a reality,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Jennifer Montgomery.  “The University of Warwick will be a critical economic driver for this region, and we are thrilled to see this major milestone accomplished.”

A study completed last year by the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council found that the university could have an economic impact of $584.2 million on the Greater Sacramento economy in its 10th year of operations. The study also found the university could directly support an estimated 1,250 jobs and $110 million in payroll in addition to supporting about 2,300 jobs and $74.8 million in annual payroll at other local businesses.