Site Master Plan Recommendations

Master Programming Document

Site Priorities

The priority list was developed by integrating PTA, Staff, and consultant concerns gathered from meetings. 
At the second staff meeting the design team reviewed each item with the staff. Items shown in green text are items that must be completed with any work done on site. The items shown in red are items that can be moved up or down on the priority list based on site votes. The staff members received three votes to place next to their preferred objectives. The accumulation of votes led to the overall site priorities.

Below is a general description of the three categories for prioritization:

01. CODE COMPLIANCE will have to be satisfied when any work is done on site. This includes adequate bathrooms, adequate ventilation, and California energy efficiency requirements. None of these items were votable as they are all mandatory.

02. FUNCTION is the next priority category andincludes items that support the physical site and building. This includes adequate building systems such as lighting and mechanical, and appropriate low voltage and daylighting. Only basic upgrades are mandatory, other items were shown in red and can move up or down their priority category based on site votes.

03. EDUCATION SUITABILITY is the final priority category and the one most sites focused on. This category focuses on what a site and a building need to support the education curriculum. It includes items such as a fully functional science lab, a staff collaboration space, and storage rooms to remove clutter from the classrooms. 


Seismic/Fire and Life Safety/Accessibility


Do utility systems work, water, HVAC, drains, electrical, lighting, security, etc.; Are systems standardized 
and maintainable? Is the envelope of the building sound (roof, windows, walls, doors, etc.)?


Classroom Building - rooftop equipment gas supply piping shows signs of corrosion, HVAC rooftop units are near the end of their 15 year service life, classrooms have no A/C, water heaters have reached the end of their 10 year service life; acoustics throughout classroom buildings are problematic. Gymnasium- rooftop A/C, heating and ventilation units are near the end of their service life, water heaters have reached the end of their 10 year service life. Arts Building/Little Theatre - rooftop A/C, heating and ventilation units are near the end of their service life, kiln needs canopy hood with ventilation exhaust directly to outside, piping system should be evaluated, lighting inadequate-old installation at both classrooms and theatre. Kitchen - rooftop A/C, heating and ventilation units are near the end of their service life, water heaters have reached the end of their 10 year service life, piping system should be evaluated. Typical throughout - none of the HVAC units are connected to the energy control management system.


Campus has huge roof area which could possibly lead to great solar benefits. Systems and roof would need to be evaluated.


Create away to monitor access.


Create a functional space in this large outdoor area.


Does the space meet the needs for curriculum delivery (or your facilities educational program)? This is typically classroom technology, adequacy of classroom, arts, labs and specialty spaces.


The site is in need of large storage rooms.


Enlarge the theater to a usable size.


Collaboration rooms inside classroom buildings.


Redesign and reconfigure current spaces.


Set it up for cooking classes.


The site needs more counseling spaces.





Albany High School Recommendations


Code Compliance and Safety

Evaluate and install a new sprinkler system per current California fire codes at the Fine Arts and Kitchen Building. Update the existing fire alarm system per current codes.


Install a canopy hood that vents directly to outside at the kiln in the Fine Arts Building. Evaluate use of A/C system at the Fine Arts Building to meet current codes. Replace the piping at the hot water heating system boiler. Replace the existing fire alarm system with a new fire alarm system that meets current codes.


The existing amphitheater is to be demolished and replaced with an open plaza.


Classroom, Gymnasium, Multi-Purpose, and Kitchen

The buildings are to receive minor modernization as described above under Code Compliance and Safety and Infrastructure.

Fine Arts

The existing building is to be demolished. Construct a new building in the same footprint, possibly a three-story structure with a performance theater at ground level, balcony, and third floor art classroom.

Reference San Gabriel site for additional information regarding additional education spaces.




Code Compliance and Safety

Because work on the campus would require a DSA review of site accessibility, there are areas that would need to be investigated as part of any improvement to the campus. The entrance to the interior of the campus from the public right-of-way at Key Route Boulevard appears to need handrails as the slope in the direction of travel appears to exceed 5%. The District should conduct a field survey of this area to determine the slopes in this area. In addition, the sidewalk that leads from Key Route Boulevard to the Classroom Building needs to be reinstalled as it no longer connects to the public sidewalk.



The only option investigated in this report is the replacement of the Arts/Theater Building. This new building and associated paving would be subject to C.3 stormwater treatment requirements. Because the building is constrained with public right-of-way and other campus improvements, flow-through planters would likely be the most feasible method of stormwater treatment.

Because the site is fairly new, it has an onsite fire service that would serve the new building. Adequate fire hydrant coverage exists at the site.

The new building would be constructed with an accessible path of travel. Also, minor improvements as discussed in the “Code Compliance and Safety” section above would need to be implemented at the site.




The following landscape improvements are recommended:

Plaza trees in front of the existing glass lobby to provide scale between the building and street.

Lunch plaza, including new solar reflective paving, seat walls, picnic tables, and shade trees.

Selective improvements to perimeter planting and at renovated or new buildings as well as campus perimeter planting improvements to replace overgrown and poorly spaced or sheared plantings. Bio-filtration planting shall be incorporated where possible to treat campus and roof runoff.

Where seating is provided, it shall be configured to encourage interaction between students and create opportunities for collaboration and functional use of outdoor areas as an extension of the classroom.

Typically, landscape improvements shall comply with DSA and California Building Code requirements, including CALGreen, District directives, and Title 23 Irrigation Efficiency requirements.

Paved areas shall be designed for universal access.

Concrete paving shall utilize a mix of fly ash and slag replacing approximately 50% of Portland cement in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide a significant level of recycled material content in the paving, and increase the strength of the finished paving, thereby increasing its durability and lifespan. Concrete shall be non-slip broom or soda wash finish in order to reduce install cost and construction clean up, and will not have lamp black added, to ensure that the paving remains high-albedo and reduce the urban heat island effect over the long-term.

Where appropriate, asphalt paving shall be color coated with high-albedo, slip resistant surface treatments to provide visual interest and reduce urban heat island effect while maintaining usefully large, contiguous paved areas.

Plantings shall be climate appropriate, low water use native and adapted non-invasive exotic plants. Where possible, mowed lawn should be replaced with native, non-mowed meadow, significantly reducing irrigation and maintenance.
Irrigation systems shall be weather aware, automatically adjusted to reduce waste, and meet or exceed state and local irrigation efficiency requirements.

We recommend that although not required, the nine Bay-Friendly Landscape basic practices be followed in order to further reduce irrigation use and maintenance costs, and to protect the local environment. Landscape maintenance staff should be trained in Bay-Friendly Landscape practices. District maintenance practices should incorporate Bay Friendly Landscape practices which reduce water use, strive to eliminate pesticide and chemical fertilizer use, and tend to reduce landscape maintenance costs. The nine Bay-Friendly practices are:

  1. All soil on site is protected with a minimum of 3 inches of mulch after construction.
  2. Compost is specified as the soil amendment at the rate indicated by a soil analysis to bring the soil organic matter content to a minimum of 3.5% by dry weight or 1-2 inches of compost. If the imported or site soil meets the organic content of 3.5% or more, then the requirement is waived.
  3. Divert 50% of landscape construction and demolition waste by weight. Verify the local jurisdiction’s minimum requirement and reporting procedures for construction and demolition (C&D).
  4. Select and plant vegetation to allow for natural size and shape growth. Pruning for structural integrity and overall health is permissible. Plants adjacent to buildings or established in a row should allow for their minimum and maximum growth potential, according to a reference plant book.
  5. Do not plant invasive plant species.
  6. Grow drought tolerant California native, Mediterranean or climate adapted plants.
  7. A maximum of 25% of total irrigated area is specified as turf, with sports or multiple use fields exempted.
  8. Specify water-based irrigation controllers (automatic, self-adjusting) that includes a moisture and/or rain sensor shutoff.
  9. Sprinkler and spray heads are not specified for areas less than 8 feet wide.




New Fine Arts Building

New multi-story theater and classroom building with steel frame construction. The floor and roof decks would consist of concrete topped metal decks supported by steel beams, girders, and columns. Lateral forces would be resisted by steel braced frames. The ground floor would be a concrete slab on grade over conventional shallow foundations.

Modernization of Existing Buildings

Structural or seismic upgrades not anticipated. Alterations to the existing architectural or HVAC features may require minor framing modifications.




The HVAC system in the classroom buildings is to include entry lobby area and gym, and the multi-purpose building system is to be evaluated (re-commissioned) and modified/rebalanced based on the findings as a result of re-commissioning the system.

The boilers and piping may need to be replaced due to maintenance neglect from chemically treating the system.




Recommended Code Compliance and Safety

1. Replace existing manual fire alarm system with an automatic fire alarm system to meet current code requirements.

Recommended Safety Improvements

1. Supplement existing security camera system with additional cameras that meet current industry quality and standards.
2. Provide additional exterior security lighting in the quad area for evening safety.

Recommended Upgrades

1. Provide wireless data drops throughout the site.

Additional Upgrades

1. Update electrical feeders as required if the existing HVAC system is upgraded throughout the site.
2. Update and replace all electrical and low voltage systems at theater/classroom building if building is renovated.
3. Update exterior lighting at exterior amphitheater if replaced with new quad.

Edited: Sara, 5/14/2014
Published: Sara, 5/14/2014