San Mateo Performing Arts Center

San Mateo Performing Arts Center

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Performing Arts Center Renovation

San Mateo Union High School District
San Mateo, Calif.

  • Completion Date: October 2013
  • Square Footage: 55,236 (Modernization)
  • Final Construction Cost: $27.3

The 1,540-seat SMPAC, the largest theater between San Francisco and Cupertino, California, underwent an extensive demolition, reconstruction and renovation, resulting in a three-story modernized facility complete with new basement space, lobby, wrap-around mezzanine and balcony seating, orchestra pit and fly-loft.

Located at San Mateo High School, SMPAC was designed to accommodate both students and faculty, as well as community performances, like the Peninsula Symphony and Broadway by the Bay. Providing an inviting entrance for theater-goers, the facility’s three-story glass wall lobby boasts enhanced patron services, such as concessions and bathrooms distributed throughout the main and mezzanine levels to reduce congestion, as well as audio and video screens for broadcasting performances. The 17,700-square-foot basement allows for wardrobe storage, green rooms, a scene shop, and other support spaces. It boasts complex technical components, such as production rigging, lighting, variable acoustics and AV systems.


2019 Award of Honor, Leroy F. Greene Design + Planning Award | Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) & AIA California Council (AIACC)


  • High School
  • Modernization
  • Theater
  • Balcony
  • Fly-Loft
  • Lobby


The Performing Arts Center is a phenomenal facility and supported and used by the community. Without QKA, the District would not have realized a project of this quality. Elizabeth McManus, Associate Superintendent of Business Services, SMUHSD