Site Master Plan Recommendations

Site Master Plan Recommendations

Albany Children's Center - 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.


ACC priority votes 


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.)?


Hydronic floor radiant heating system is not functional; at portables there is insignificant HVAC heating/cooling capacity for occupancy type; no mechanical system in children’s toilet rooms; the heating control system is obsolete; replace existing interior and exterior lighting with energy efficient fixtures; irrigation system is antiquated; the asphalt paving and fence need repair.


Less asphalt - add more trees, shade structure at sand box area, artificial berm for playing, rope net, swings, trails at hillside, tunnels, zip line. Follow the recommendations on ACC landscape master plan. Refer to appendix.



Site fencing, door hardware.


Intercom system, wireless internet.


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.


Additional storage space would remove storage burden from the classrooms.


Each classroom needs bulletin boards above coat hooks outside each classroom, operable windows, hot/ cold water, and thermostats at each classroom.


The space should be adequate for PE, parent and community meetings, and an eating area for Transitional Kindergarten with a kitchenette.



Need two more rooms - one for speech and one for occupational and physical therapy.





Albany Children's Center - Recommendations


Code Compliance and Safety

Evaluate emergency and fire vehicle access: Indicate possible routes on campus. Evaluate possible fire hydrant coverage from street and a possible location on campus. Install a new fire alarm system per current California Fire Codes.



Install a new HVAC sytem per California Title 24 Energy Code. Modify lavatories to meet ADA requirements. Modify kitchen sink waste drains to comply with California Plumbing Codes. Evaluate and replace as required the existing piping system. Replace the existing main electrical breaker and upgrade power receptacles and lighting per current codes. Install a paging and intrusion alarm system.



Implement ACC Green Schoolyard Master Plan. Play structures and play areas are to be accessible. Resurface existing yard paving. Install site lighting per applicable energy and zoning codes.

Remove existing portables (3) as indicated and replace with new where shown on plan.

An ADA-compliant elevator at street level at base of existing stairs is to be installed. The elevator is to go to the entry level at the administration offices of the campus.

Reference the appendix for the green schoolyard master plan.


New Building

Evaluate building for installation of a new HVAC system per applicable Title 24 Energy Codes.



Remove existing and replace with new; to include new A/C roof top units with sufficient capacity for designated occupancy type.




Code Compliance and Safety

The majority of the work associated with this project will involve bringing it into compliance with ADA standards. There is currently no access from Jackson Street and the ADA parking stall that can be reached by vehicle from Cerrito Street is not in compliance.



Preserve the main classroom building and place newly constructed buildings on the eastern side of the campus. New impervious surfaces would need to be treated to be in compliance with C.3 requirements. Because the site has a large elevation change, the most economical method to provide this treatment would be by adding bioretention areas.

The site has no emergency vehicle access and likely would not, even after new construction is completed, due to the challenging topography. New buildings would still require fire sprinklers served by a new private fire service. It is anticipated that fire department connections (FDC) would be accessible to firefighters from Jackson Street.

ADA access on the campus would need to be drastically improved. Significant re-grading of the site would be necessary to ensure a path of travel between the new and existing building as well as a playing area accessible to disabled visitors. In addition, one van accessible stall would need to be constructed on the site accessible by vehicles from Cerrito Street.



A developed Landscape plan exists for this campus; the following are additional recommendations.

Campus perimeter planting improvements to replace overgrown and poorly spaced or sheared plantings, as well as invasive, pest, and fire hazard species. 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.

Play structures shall be low maintenance, long life span structures that accommodate large numbers of children in an inclusive manner. Play elements will be age appropriate and provide a variety of physical development options. Underlying safety surfacing shall be designed to meet or exceed fall height of the structures. Play areas shall be designed to ASTM, CPSC, and ADA requirements. Play areas should be installed by or verified after installation by a certified playground safety inspector. We recommend structures such as those built by Corocord, Dynamo Play, and Elephant Play for their creative designs, high play value within a small footprint, ADA accessible designs, and durability. We recommend the use of non-infill synthetic play turf with underlying shock pads in place of pour-in-place rubber due to lower installation and maintenance costs and because it is a more versatile, attractive surface material.
Where blacktop is striped for games, the striping shall be laid out to avoid overlaps in use that could lead to playground injuries.

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

Paved areas and curriculum garden 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 overall typically 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 steel and concrete framed elevator structure with concrete retaining walls and ramps.


New Buildings

The new buildings could be either modular buildings or wood framed structures.



Structural improvements would include a minor seismic upgrade consisting of the addition of new shear plywood and Simpson seismic connectors.



All mechanical options will require a new energy management control system based on the new code requirements.

Mechanical Option 1: Provide natural gas fired furnaces with ductwork for the classrooms and packaged air handling units with cooling for Administration.

Mechanical Option 2: Provide natural gas fired furnaces with cooling coils and ductwork for the classrooms and packaged air handling units with cooling for Administration.

Mechanical Option 3: Provid heating hot water boiler and primary-secondary pumping and above ground piping systems for the entire campus. Provide floor mounted indoor air handling units with heating hot water coils and ductwork. Provide air handling unit with cooling for the administration area.

Portable buildings: Replace all undersized ductless split air conditioning systems with packaged air handling units.

Plumbing recommendations: Replace all plumbing fixtures with new plumbing fixtures and water conservation faucets.



Required Code Compliance and Safety

Provide an automatic fire alarm system to meet current code requirements. The existing system does not meet current codes.
Replace existing PG&E electrical service and campus electrical infrastructure with new main service and distribution system. The existing system is old and subject to failure in the near future.

Recommended Safety Improvements

  1. Replace existing security camera system with a new system that meets current industry quality and standards.
  2. Provide an intrusion alarm system with door contacts and motion sensors throughout the site.
  3. Provide a clock/paging system on the campus. Paging is important for all-call announcements in the event of an emergency.
  4. Provide additional exterior security lighting throughout site.
  5. Provide additional lighting at front entry stairway. Visibility is poor.


Recommended Upgrades

  1. Replace existing interior and exterior lighting systems with new energy efficient fixtures and multi-switching controls to meet current Title 24 requirements.
  2. Update existing data and telephone systems if campus is modernized.
  3. Provide wireless data drops throughout the site.
  4. Update existing power receptacles in all spaces to meet current ADA height requirements.

Edited: Sara, 5/15/2014
Published: Sara, 5/15/2014