The 400 students in the Bayshore Elementary School District, located in the shadow of the Cow Palace, moved into The Bayshore School, a new education center outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and designed to inspire a love of learning. Envisioned as an anchor for this Daly City neighborhood, the school held an official ribbon-cutting on Saturday, September 30th at 10:00 a.m. at 155 Oriente Street in Daly City, to share this beautiful facility with the entire community.
The Bayshore Community came out to support the grand opening ceremony, including a representative from the Office of County of San Mateo Supervisor, David Canepa and a representative for Assembly Member Phil Ting both presenting Commendation awards to Dr. Audra Pittman, Superintendent, Bayshore Elementary School District.
Tahitian Dance Company, Hui Tarava performed a blessing dance, “O’Hiva” to honor the momentous occasion. “O’Hiva is the foundation, the guardian, the keeper of culture and the birth of free people, “ said Owner and Director of Hui Tarava, Justin Atangan.
Before the official ribbon cutting, the crowd was invited to move from the Multipurpose Room to the front entrance. Here, Landmark Vice President of Operations and Project Executive for The Bayshore Project, Kevin Brennan was invited to say a few words about the project and Landmark’s part in it. In addition, Tim Watson, Landmark Superintendent for The Bayshore School, spoke about the challenges and sheer will of the Landmark team to overcome these challenges to meet a tight 15-month timeline.
When Dr. Pittman and The Bayshore Board of Trustees cut the blue ribbon to commemorate the opening of The Bayshore School, students in the crowd popped 36-inch balloons filled with seed confetti. Those in attendance were encouraged to take seed confetti home with them and plant it as a nod to the community of Bayshore, growing community together as they endeavor to educate the next generation.
“Community support, a district willing to take an innovative approach, an architect with an inspired vision, and a builder committed to meeting seemly impossible deadlines have resulted in an amazing school that will embrace students so they can achieve their dreams,” according to Dr. Pittman.
The new two-story PK-8 school offers 47,000 square feet of learning space, including a multi-purpose room with both an indoor and outdoor stage, a makerspace, learning resource center and two Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) laboratories. All classrooms have interactive white boards, smart televisions and flexible seating. Outdoor areas have turf for playing and learning environments for project-based learning.
Previously, students had been housed in two schools, originally built in the 1930’s and 1950’s with very little updating. The district serves a high need population with 70 percent of the students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, and 80 percent identified as foster youth, English language learners, or socioeconomically disadvantaged. “Working with BCA Architects, I realized that modernizing these two older schools would not give students the learning environment that they deserved,” said Pittman. “Thinking outside the box, we determined that by selling one school site, we could build a brand-new PK-8 school that would provide the very best educational opportunities for these children.”
“This community values education so highly that voters passed two bonds to make this project possible; the first bond had an over 80 percent pass rate, the highest in the state for the November 2014 election,” said Pittman. “Additionally, collaboration with Daly City and San Mateo County Housing Authority helped moved this project forward.”
Landmark Construction, based in Loomis, CA., built the school in 15 months, which included demolishing the old elementary school, building a temporary campus on the other school site, and constructing the new modern campus. “This is the finest building within miles,” said Joe Bittaker, President of Landmark Construction. “The architectural magic of this school will transform this community and offer an amazing learning environment for students. The gentle curves of the building, outdoor classroom balconies with Bay views, and floor to ceiling day lighting are stunning.” Students, parents and staff have been entranced by the beautiful building and intrigued by the flexible learning spaces as well as the classroom technology. As both a Bayshore School teacher and parent, Ashley Atkinson appreciates her colleagues’ passion for teaching and the warm atmosphere where every child is called by name. “This new campus is everything I could ever wish for in a school for both my own children and the students I serve,” said Atkinson. “We’ve built a place that is as safe as home, and I am proud to be a part of the team raising these kids.”
Merl Sabado has lived in the Bayshore Community for 37 years, attended Bayshore Elementary and currently works for the school district. “The District, through the years, has had the same vision – to build a better school for our children in the community,” said Sabado. “In the past four years, Dr. Pittman continued that vision, and we now have our 21st century school. I am overjoyed to be a part of this special school where teachers do more than teach, staff nurtures our students, and administrators and trustees act in the best interest of students and staff.”
Pittman envisions the new school as central to this neighborhood, much as schools were in small 19th century communities. “We’ve worked with the Boys and Girls Club to make it possible for every family to participate in an afterschool program, which includes athletics, academic enrichment and academic support,” said Pittman. “Eventually, we hope to offer public performances in the theater and become a community center where neighbors can gather to enjoy events.”
For more information about The Bayshore School, visit the district website: or contact Dr. Audra Pittman, Superintendent, Bayshore Elementary School District at (415) 467-5443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.