Presidio Middle School’s Best Schoolyard in the Universe

This unique, privately funded schoolyard is the product of a collaborative design process.  Imagined by students, their vision nurtured by local artists, this project was brought to life by converting 84,000 sf of city block asphalt to a campus that provides a variety of outdoor spaces to encourage play and innovation.

The courtyard hosts a new steel trellis with colorful polycarbonate “leaves” for shade and a synthetic turf lawn for lunchtime relaxation; the lower yard is fully abated and provides sports courts and a bike storage building that is integrated into terraced seating leading to the upper yard.  The upper terrace is enhanced with custom shade trees made of steel and colorful polycarbonate disks and permeable pavers; new play equipment includes a climbing tree and pullup structure adjacent to a new track and synthetic turf field.  Trees and planting have been added throughout along with raised beds for outdoor gardening opportunity.


Artist – Scientific Art Studio

Landscape Architect – Dillingham Associates

Funder’s Representative – Van Acker Construction

Contractor – Suarez & Munoz Construction


Removal/abatement of asphalt

New drainage

Custom shade canopy trees

Bike storage building


Terrace seating

Climbing Tree

Pullup structure

Track + Field

Raised planters

Panther mascot sculpture in cast bronze

Awards & Press

San Francisco Chronicle


Cost $7.3 million
Size 84,000 sq ft
Location San Francicso, CA
Client San Francisco Unified School District