College of San Mateo Building 36 - Science Building

Construction Schedule: Science Building Completed Spring 2006
Completed January 2007

Funding Source(s): Measure C general obligation bond funds


Description: In order to best meet the current and future needs of the science program, construction of a new science building was identified as a recommendation of the San Mateo County Community College District’s 2001 Facilities Master Plan. This science building will be the first community college building in the State of California constructed under the design-build provisions of Education Code 81700. The design-build delivery method allows SMCCCD and CSM to work directly with the architect and builder to design and construct the building as a team, partnering for improved outcome as well as compressing the design and construction schedule. Science program faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to communicate their current and future discipline requirements to the design team. From these various meetings, a comprehensive program including square footage, adjacency, building function attributes, mechanical, electrical and plumbing requirements were developed. Facilities and Information Technology staff provided information for inclusion in the building program, to ensure that maintenance, operations and telecommunications program needs are achieved. In addition, the College exterior design committee was engaged to ensure that the exterior sitting and design of this new building complements the existing campus architecture. Using all this information as guidelines, three prequalified design-build teams competed in a design and cost competition to become the design-builder for this flagship project. After a thorough review of the proposals received, the team of McCarthy Building Company, Inc. / LPA, Inc. was selected to design and construct College of San Mateo's new Science Building.The program for the Science Building has been specified in clusters, A, B and C. Each cluster includes laboratories, support spaces and faculty offices. Cluster A includes an Earth Science Lab and Stock Room, three Physics Labs, a Stock Room shared by Astronomy and Physics, an Observatory with associated storage space, and a Planetarium with support space. Cluster B includes the Anatomy/Physiology Lab, the Botany Lab, the Zoology Lab, the Micro-Biology Lab, the Anatomy Prep Room, the Biotech Cell Room, the Biology Prep/Stock Room/Lab Technician Office, the Biology Chemical Stockroom, the Botany Prep Room, the Cadaver Room, the Micro Support/Autoclave Room, a Micro Support and Media Prep Room and the Zoology Prep Room. Cluster C includes two Chemistry Laboratories, one Organic Chemistry Lab, the Chemistry Lab Technician Office, a Chemistry Prep/Stock Room, a Chemistry Instrument Room, and Organic Instrument Room.Other spaces identified in the space program include the Dean’s office complex, including a mail room and work room, four lecture halls, each with a sixty seat capacity, and the Integrated Science Center where cross-discipline work can be performed. The program also includes base building requirements such as communications closets and custodial closets on each floor as well as storage for hazardous materials and for maintenance supplies. A critical component of the facility is the community use of the Planetarium and the Observatory at occurrences of astronomical events. CSM has the only Planetarium in the County, and programs are frequently conducted for school children and the community at large.

Benefit: The new facility, approximately 55,000 sf, will replace existing science instructional facilities that are outdated, beyond their functional service life, and too expensive to renovate to meet current and future science program pedagogical specifications.


  • Main building- Completed May, 2006

  • Planetarium- Completed January, 2007