Elite high school to replace San Francisco strip mall with academic building

The 47,000-square-foot building will hold science labs, administrative offices and an indoor basketball court

(LMSarch.com, iStock)
(LMSarch.com, iStock)

An elite San Francisco private school is going big.

San Francisco University High School plans to expand its Lower Pacific Heights campus with a new three-story, 47,000-square-foot building for academics, administration and sports, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. It will replace a small retail and medical office complex at 3150 California Street.

The property, which the school already owns, will include six science labs, up to six classrooms and administrative offices. Plans also call for an indoor basketball court that will meet NCAA specifications.

The project, which will cost an estimated $88 million, is being designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and will have a curtained wall of glass along California Street. The building will probably be completed in 2025.

“This transformative project will expand classroom and community spaces to support our innovative program while providing direct access to the California Street transportation corridor,” Julia Russell Eells, head of school at SFUHS, said in a statement. “We have been working collaboratively with our California Street neighbors and look forward to continued collaboration with the Pacific Heights community and the City on this exciting initiative.”

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The project will require an environmental review. It won’t need a zoning change, however.

Along with a main entrance at 3065 Jackson Street, middle and lower campuses on both sides of Washington Street and a visual arts building on Sacramento Street, the California Street building will be the school’s fifth campus along the Lyon Street corridor, expanding the school’s footprint further south and west. The high school also operates an outdoor athletic facility that includes a lacrosse field, running track and baseball fields in the Presidio.

SFUHS opened in 1975 after the closure of the high school portion of the Katherine Delmar Burke School in the Sea Cliff neighborhood. The selective college prep school is permitted to have 410 students and full tuition for a year is $54,130.

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