Mills High School

Mills High School

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Theater/Gymnasium + Mathematics

San Mateo Union High School District | San Mateo, CA
48,800 sf

Built in 1958, Mills High School is an early modernist campus expressed with windowless single story buildings. The District recognized the need to greatly improve and expand the Theater and Gymnasium Complex. The new work transforms the poor performing 32,000 square foot gym/ theater facility into new and significantly renovated 48,800 square foot complex that responds to the school’s Educational Program. The Theater seats 750 and includes a large new lobby.In addition, this campus-wide multi-phase renovation included a new classroom building and significant interior renovations. The new classroom wing displaced outdated and neglected non-teaching spaces while defining a new student entry plaza adjacent to the primary parking area. The primary design challenge was to introduce additional classroom spaces into a previously closed monolithic campus plan. The placement of this classroom wing offered the opportunity to define new entry points as well as new courtyard small-group meeting spaces.


2014 Award of Excellence | Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) + American Institute of Architects/California Council (AIACC)


  • 750 Seat Theater
  • New Classroom Wing


The siting of the new performing arts building is masterful. It captures the exterior courtyard and makes it an integral part of the whole project. CASH | Leroy F. Green Design & Planning Awards 2014 Committee