Mills High School

Mills High School

Information (toggle)

Classroom Building, Gymnasium and Theater

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 school’s Theater and Gymnasium Complex. The new work transformed the 32,000 square foot gym/theater facility into a new and significantly renovated 48,800 square foot complex that includes a 750-seat theater, basketball and volleyball court, and a large glass-wall lobby to both facilities. A new student quad provides student gathering space and outdoor learning areas.

In addition, this campus-wide multi-phase renovation included a new classroom building and significant interior renovations. The new classroom wing replaced outdated and neglected non-teaching spaces, and created a new student entry plaza adjacent to the primary parking area. The central 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