Challenges: Franklin-McKinley School District (FMSD) needed to build the new Ramblewood Park Elementary School on five acres. Most California schools have ten. Complicating matters more, the land has hills and unusual boundary shape. Overflowing enrollment in existing neighborhood schools makes this project essential. City of San Jose leased Ramblewood Park to FMSD for the school buildings. In exchange, the school will make its future playground and multi-use building available to the public.

Solutions: Realizing creative civil engineering would be needed, FMSD brought in U&R as the first consultant on the project. U&R helped evaluate the feasibility of using Ramblewood Park for the school site. We also jointly custom-designed the school’s footprint with Aedis Architecture & Planning firm to make it fit the site. A two-story building was designed that accommodates irregularities of the land. U&R also jointly designed the playground, parking lot and drop-off zones.

Results: Creative design solutions enabled us to fit the school on the site despite many challenges. We also maintained plenty of playground space. Most importantly, the San Jose neighborhood will have its needed new school.

Construction is now underway.