New Construction

Silicon Valley Debuts New Elementary School

A new elementary school recently opened in Foster City, Calif., as part of the San Mateo-Foster City School District (SMFCSD). Beach Park Elementary School lies in the Silicon Valley area, about halfway between San Jose and San Francisco, Calif. The district partnered with design firm HMC Architects and general contracting firm C. Overaa & Co. The facility has a capacity of 420 students and was funded through the Measure X bond measure. The bond was passed by voters in 2016 and set aside $148 million to address overcrowding issues in schools.

According to a press release, the school features amenities like classroom clusters with shared indoor and outdoor collaboration areas; a flexible Library/Media Center featuring small group instructional rooms, learning nooks and quiet areas; a multipurpose building with a kitchen and server; flexible furniture placed throughout the building; and accent colors of terracotta, blue and green that represent the school’s vision. It also has 17 individual classrooms, an administration building and an outdoor play area.

As of February 2021, the facility’s budget was an estimated $80 million.

“The school is designed for flexibility and embraces NextGen learning modalities,” said Marko Blagojevic, managing principal of the HMC San Jose studio. “The design team developed classroom clusters, learning nodes and indoor and outdoor collaboration areas in order to heighten indoor-outdoor spatial relationships, flexible learning environments and shared collaboration spaces. It is incredibly rewarding to see excited students and teachers engage in such a setting and take ownership of their environment.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].