McCarthy and DLR Group Partner to Win New School in San Francisco

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The new Mission Bay School will include an elementary school, a learning hub for high school students, and a professional development space for educators 

(SAN FRANCISCO) ― The San Francisco Unified School District has hired design-build team McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and DLR Group to deliver a new school to serve one of the city’s newest and fastest growing neighborhoods. Mission Bay is a diverse and thriving community consisting of housing (including 30% affordable housing), the University of California San Francisco Campus, hospital and medical office buildings, biotech businesses, public parks, and the Chase Center arena. Currently, there are no elementary schools close to the hundreds of SFUSD students living in Mission Bay, and elementary schools near Mission Bay lack the capacity to accommodate long-term growth as a result of population increase and additional housing. 

“The Mission Bay area has matured over the past two decades to become a hub of activity, research, community, and a dynamic San Francisco neighborhood. 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,” said McCarthy Vice President Jack Carter.  

The new 81,800-SF school is located on a 2.5-acre site on the east side of San Francisco known as South Block 14, which is bounded by Owen Street, Nelson Rising Lane, Mission Bay Boulevard, and 6th Street. It is designed with three distinct uses: a PreK-5 elementary school for 600 students, a STEM-focused linked learning hub, and district professional development space. 

“The new Mission Bay School is 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,” SF Board of Education President Jenny Lam said. “We are excited to have this new school in a diverse and thriving San Francisco neighborhood where we continue to see housing growth and community development.”  

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.  

“The Mission Bay School will become the nucleus of community life within this vibrant neighborhood,” said DLR Group Principal Christopher McGriff-Brown. “Our team’s design solution expresses the joy of learning with dynamic architecture to create a vivid and welcoming campus for all users.” 

Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2025. The $95 million project is being funded through the voter-approved Proposition A 2016 Bond program. 

About McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. 

Established in 1864, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has a long history of building facilities that drive greater value. From exceptional levels of quality and safety—to ease of maintenance over time, we are firmly committed to helping our clients and partners achieve the short- and long-term strategic goals of every project we do.  

About DLR Group 

DLR Group is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. Our promise is to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients; local communities; and our planet. DLR Group is 100 percent employee-owned and fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge, and is an initial signatory to the China Accord and the AIA 2030 Commitment. 

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