The Bayshore School project is a story of how good planning and design can overcome the challenge of budget constraints. In June of 2014, the Bayshore Elementary School District passed a general obligation bond for $6 million in the hope of modernizing both of its campuses to be more competitive in the 21st Century educational environment. Like many school districts in California, the needs far outweighed the ability of the District to generate tax revenue for its bond, as well as leverage state bond funding. The solution was to consider combining the two campuses of Bayshore Elementary and Robertson Intermediate into a single campus that could allow for the surplus site sale of one of the sites. The real estate value in the San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood of Daly City proved successful enough to identify as much as $24.5 million in additional funding and create a total financing stream that would allow the District to build a single, state-of-the-art campus on the Bayshore site for all of its student population, including accommodate for future growth.

The project incorporates 52,500 square feet of classroom, administration and multipurpose area on an existing site that covers approximately 2.3 acres in downtown Daly City. Due to the urban nature of the site, careful consideration was given to the safety and security of the design by positioning the facilities closer to the street and creating a single point of entry adjacent to the administration wing. This eliminated the need for fencing at the front of the campus, and greatly enhances the curb appeal.

The design of the educational environments is indicative of the best 21st Century learning concepts, including shared “makers” and STEAM spaces for interactive learning and socialization, and a learning resource area that functions as a social space as much as it does a student library. Each of the classroom areas include interactive, touch sensitive projection devices, movable furnishings, wireless technology and a combination of tackable and writable surfaces.

Much attention was paid to the physical design of the school, to incorporate a form and materials that were indicative of the Bay Area and of a modern, urban site. The extensive use of glazing and metal suggests a clean, solid approach to elementary education, and the curved floor plans and roof lines are suggestive of the sky, hills and waves that are part of the region’s natural environment.

High performance was also a significant consideration in the design. The project features skylights for natural daylighting of the upper story. The project is among the first as a comprehensive campus planned under the 2013 California Building Code Title 24 mandate and utilizes extensive LED lighting and high efficiency HVAC systems, as well as measures for enhanced commissioning result in greater comfort and control.

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