Greener Schoolyards coming to SFUSD schools!

BASE is working with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to give students greener schoolyards.

After voters passed a bond measure for green schoolyards, the SFUSD has been working with a handful of landscape architecture firms and schools each year to realize small landscape improvements. This year, BASE was chosen to design spaces for Aptos Middle School and Hoover Middle School.

The process began with a site walkthrough of the spaces slated for improvement and by meeting with our schoolyard greening committee at each school to determine their needs. The committees are made up of principals and teachers from each school and two project managers from SFUSD’s Green Schoolyard department. We’ve had a series of meetings over several months where we presented our design concepts, taking the committee’s feedback into account each time. We’ve had some great meetings with a lot of wonderful input from each of the committees helping us to refine the design to meet the needs of the students, teachers, and staff. Both schools were looking to increase planting areas, shade, and provide seating for students to enjoy during lunch and recess.

It’s been an interesting process working within the unknown costs of San Francisco’s booming construction market at the moment.

We will submit the completed construction document set for review by SFUSD at the beginning of December. The project will then go to bid in late February or early March and construction will be completed this summer.

At Aptos Middle School, the project site is a bleak asphalt courtyard used during lunch and recess. The new plan will accommodate seating for upwards of 100 students with raised planters and log seating features. The existing volleyball court will remain and existing picnic tables will be relocated. The asphalt will be painted to add some playful colors to liven up the space.

existing conditions of the project site at Aptos

Existing conditions of the project site at Aptos Middle School.

Anticipated new courtyard at Aptos.

Anticipated new courtyard at Aptos.

Concept Plan for Aptos.

Concept Plan for Aptos.


At Herbert Hoover Middle School, the project site is a narrow strip between an expanse of asphalt paving and a towering concrete retaining wall. The new space will incorporate seating for more than 100 students, native planting areas, and vegetable beds. Fun red logs are used as seating features. The design also incorporates an area of the concrete wall to be used as a ball wall by the PE department.

existing conditions of the project site at  Herbert Hoover Middle School

Existing conditions of the project site at Herbert Hoover Middle School.

Hoover Concept Design

The anticipated new space for Hoover students.

Hoover Concept Design Plan

Concept Plan for Hoover.


We’re looking forward to providing greener schoolyards for students in the Fall of 2015!