San Mateo High School

San Mateo High School

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Historic Brick Building Modernization

San Mateo Union High School District
San Mateo, Calif.

  • Completion Date: September 2015
  • Square Footage: 20,367 (Modernization)
  • Final Construction Cost: $5.8M

Originally constructed as a shops building, this project restored and renovated the last remaining, yet long neglected, 1920s building on the San Mateo High School campus. Providing much needed large meeting spaces, art studios and general classrooms, the building was seismically upgraded throughout, historically restored on the exterior, and outfitted with new technology, industrial materials and modern amenities on the inside. The interior also showcases QKA’s utilization of the space’s vastness and a clerestory to bring in northern light – making the district’s vision of a space that is both modern and supports its learning curriculum, yet historically preserved.


  • 2016 Award of Excellence, Leroy F. Greene Design + Planning Award | Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) & AIA California Council (AIACC)
  • 2016 Merit Award | American Institute of Architects (AIA) - Redwood Empire


  • High School
  • Modernization
  • Historic
  • Seismic Upgrades
  • Classrooms
  • Art Studio
  • Black Box Theater


QKA designed a beautiful, extremely functional reuse of our former industrial arts space. The building includes several art classrooms with extraordinary light. Kevin Skelly, Ph.D., Superintendent, SMUHSD