The San Francisco Unified School District has officially hired McCarthy Building Companies and DLR Group to design Mission Bay South Block 14 to serve San Francisco’s newest and fastest-growing neighborhood, Mission Bay. The 2.5-acre site would offer Pre-K through 5th Grade education for up to 600 students.
Much of the Mission Bay neighborhood, formerly an industrial area, has been built in the last two decades with 30% affordable housing, public parks, the University of California San Francisco Campus hospital & medical offices, biotech space, and the new Chase Center arena.
SF Board of Education President Jenny Lam describes the project as “a rare opportunity for SFUSD to design a 21st century school from the ground up. It further strengthens our commitment to each and every student in providing high quality education and ensures they succeed in the future.”
McCarthy Vice President Jack Carter went on to describe the importance of the new school for the area, saying that “the addition of this vital piece of infrastructure will not only be a cornerstone within Mission Bay but also allows San Francisco Unified School District the opportunity to develop a school from the ground up to provide for today’s and future students.”
The four-story building will yield roughly 81,800 square feet of floor area for the 600-student school, a STEM-focused learning hub for high school students, and a district professional development space for educators.
The following passage provided by the DLR Group and McCarthy Building Companies outlines what the school will offer students:
First-floor learning environments have direct connections to outdoor play- and nature-based learning spaces to meet all early learners’ sensory needs and seamlessly extend learning to the outdoors. Learning studios on the second and third floors feature breakout rooms and collaboration spaces to foster innovation and collaboration with flexibility for different small group breakouts. The learning hub on the fourth floor prepares high school students for careers in health, bioscience, and STEM-related fields.
Much of the 2.5-acre lot will be improved with outdoor space for the students. There will be a playground, basketball hoops, and other activity areas circled by a track loop. Along 6th Street, next to the picnic area, a garden will encourage students to engage with plants and food production. Kindergarten students will have a dedicated yard and play area by the Mission Bay Boulevard sidewalk. The area will be surrounded by fencing and bioswale landscaping.
The facade will be clad with yellow and green metal panels, with sections dedicated for art murals. DLR Group Principal Christopher McGiff-Brown shared that “our team’s design solution expresses the joy of learning with dynamic architecture to create a vivid and welcoming campus for all users.”
The construction of Mission Bay South Block 14 would be the first elementary school in close proximity to the neighborhood. Construction is scheduled to start in 2023, with completion by 2025. $95 million of funding is coming from the 2016 Proposition A Bond program.