List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the timing of construction? How long will this take?

    LWHS plans to break ground in June 2017, soon after graduation. Construction is scheduled to last approximately 18 months and run through August 2018.
  • Is the enrollment growing? Why are we expanding LWHS, and why now?

    Yes, through strategic financial planning, the Board of Trustees has decided to increase enrollment from 490 to 550 students, or approximately 15 students per grade. This growth will happen incrementally, beginning in the 2018–19 academic year. Class section sizes will remain the same. Importantly, this growth will allow the school to maintain a commitment to the LWHS mission of access; the number of students enrolled in Flexible Tuition will grow as well.
  • Why has this project been planned?

    During the facilities master planning process, the need for more classrooms became apparent, as well as a more welcoming and ADA accessible entrance. The school has outgrown the current building, which was constructed in the 1950s for a student body of 250. The current student body is 490. Additionally, structural engineers have discovered seismic deficiencies that must be addressed within three to five years. The school is pursuing these improvements and decided to seize an opportunity to create more space, expand enrollment, and increase access to students to fully live the LWHS mission.
  • What kind of project is being planned?

    The main classroom building will be replaced completely, while keeping the historic facade on Ocean Avenue. Highlights of the building plan include:
    • A new entrance, moved up Ocean Avenue closer to Howth Street, and on grade, thereby allowing for more accessibility to people of all abilities
    • A third floor, which will add six new classrooms
    • Many more intentionally designed spaces for students to do group work, meet with teachers, study, or relax with friends
    • A larger dance studio to accommodate the growing dance program
    • Renovations of the three existing science labs and the addition of two new science labs (one new lab in the science building and one new lab where the Mac Lab is currently)
    • New athletic locker rooms
    • New and improved faculty and staff offices
    • Indoor-outdoor atrium space located between the classroom building and the Ehrer theatre
    • Larger entrance lobby to accommodate the community
    • Gallery space near the entrance to showcase student, alumni, and community work
    • More abundant natural light and better air circulation
    The campus expansion allows for increased enrollment, from 490 to 550. The increase will happen over four years, with 15 students added to each grade level. Each grade will be approximately 138 students, and each class section will be approximately 17.
  • Will there be a focus on sustainability for the new building?

    Yes, the building committee is working with the architects on a net-zero building, LEED platinum certification, and the Living Building Challenge.
  • How is the project being funded? Is the school embarking on a capital campaign?

    Yes, the Board of Trustees voted to move forward with a capital campaign, Make The Future, in January 2015. The total building project budget has been finalized at $46 million, which includes all aspects of the project—architecture, construction, entitling, permitting, and fees. The Make The Future capital campaign working goal is $30 million. As of March 1, 2018, more than $21.7 million has been secured towards that goal. The Board of Trustees has secured financing to fund the difference between the amount raised during the capital campaign and the amount it actually costs to construct the building. Any questions about fundraising or the capital campaign can be directed to Nancy Kehoe in the Development Office: 415.704.5590 or nkehoe@lwhs.org.
  • How will these building improvements and modifications improve the campus?

    One of the goals of the current strategic plan is to improve and plan for a connected campus. The building project will result in a more cohesive, thoughtful, and appropriate building for teaching and learning at LWHS. Specifically, the new building will seek to serve 550 students and will include: better air circulation and natural lighting to create a healthier learning environment, a new Center for Civic Engagement as a hub for student life, an increased number of spaces dedicated to student group work, increased outdoor community space, inviting offices for faculty and staff, new athletics locker rooms, a state-of-the-art dance studio, and improved entry to the school.

Everyday Logistics

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • Will all gender restrooms be available?

    2017–18 ACADEMIC YEAR
    There are currently 4 all gender restrooms available for students and adults.

    • 1 bathroom in the kitchen (accessible from the outside walkway, through the kitchen door between the music room and the Ann Maisel Café)
    • 1 bathroom in the business office (27 Howth)
    • 2 bathrooms in the Alumni/Development/Admissions shared office (31 Howth)
    The administration is open to talk about this and hear more.

    2018–19 ACADEMIC YEAR
    There will be gender neutral bathrooms for students on all floors of the new building—this includes multi-use and single-use restrooms. Please see the renderings of the new building.

    The main and upper level multi-use restrooms will have floor to ceiling partitions and will be all gender bathrooms. LWHS is the first high school in the San Francisco Bay Area to have a building with this plan (at least no one has heard of another one, please let us know if you do!).

    Additionally, along with the new womens and mens athletic locker rooms, there will be two gender neutral changing rooms.

  • How will drop off and pick up work during construction? Where will the “front desk” be located?

    The main entrance of the school will temporarily relocate to Geneva Avenue, immediately adjacent (east) of the library building. There will be a drop off and pick up area located on Geneva, and there will be a temporary building for the front desk as well as the facilities team. 
    Please be sure to check this website and read all newsletter communications sent by the school to learn about updates on temporary office locations for faculty departments, admissions, Deans, etc.
  • Where will classes take place during construction?

    During the summer of 2017, a temporary campus will be created in the parking lot using classroom bungalows. Additionally, some classes and offices will be relocated around campus. All buildings will be accessible, except the main classroom building—i.e. the library, shops, café, theatre, science labs, and gymnasium will all be open.
  • What about parking?

    Alternative parking arrangements will be made at City College. LWHS encourages faculty and staff to utilize public transportation and carpooling throughout the duration of the project.
  • What impact will the project have on school activities and athletics during the school year and summer break?

    While space will be a challenge, LWHS is prepared to use every nook and cranny to accommodate all programs at their current capacity. Neither athletic teams nor performing arts programs will be impacted during construction. City College athletics facilities will be accessible to LWHS students and the Bothin Gymnasium on the LWHS campus will be in operation. Buses will transport students to away games from the Geneva gate.
  • What will happen to the bus stop on Geneva Ave and Howth St?

    The bus stop will remain in the same place.


List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • What are the seismic issues with the current buildings?

    The main classroom building was seismically upgraded after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. As part of the Master Planning that led to the current project, LWHS uncovered issues with the level of seismic performance that can be expected from the building relative to current seismic design standards. The school did voluntary work during the summer in 2015 to address some of these issues in the short term, and presently, the building is safe to occupy. However, engineers have expressed concern regarding the impact of a major earthquake and whether the school would be able to reoccupy the building after such an event.

    The board evaluated the possibility of renovating the current building, but it was found to be cost-prohibitive while not addressing the real issues. However, replacing a portion of the building will allow the school to deliver the kind of education it envisions.
  • What precautions are being taken to ensure the safety and security of children at LWHS during the construction of the main building?

    The law requires that students and construction crews be kept separate from each other. Construction workers will have their own facilities and entrance, and will not be allowed to interact with the students. The principal disturbance will be noise, but LWHS will work with the construction company to minimize this.
  •  Will there be a lot of dust in the school buildings?

    Every building project has its share of dust, but most will happen during demolition which will be done during the summer of 2017 while the campus is empty.
  • Will the school be safe for students and staff?

    Yes. The construction firms being considered have extensive experience working in school settings.
  • How will emergency action plans change during this time or permanently, and how will they be communicated?

    The safety committee is re-evaluating the emergency plan and will update the safety resource board, apprise the community in person at a Monday meeting, via facstaff email, and eTiger/Weekly Tiger newsletters.

Greater Community

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Will this project provide any community benefits?

    LWHS is proud of its reputation for being an excellent neighbor and welcomes community involvement to better meet the needs of students and the neighborhood. In addition to the new, welcoming entrance, this project will improve sidewalks and include new trees. A new community meeting room, to be utilized by the school and the neighborhood, will be located on the main floor, adjacent to the new location of the Center for Civic Engagement. The community room builds on school partnerships that have evolved over the past 25 years, with organizations such as City College of San Francisco, Youth Art Exchange, and Aim High.
    Currently, the Ocean Avenue Association, SFMTA, the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute, Balboa Reservoir CAC, and the California Teacher Development Collaborative use the LWHS campus for meetings. The new community room will provide even more space to accommodate neighbors and expand LWHS partnerships.
  • Where can the community go to find information on the project?

    LWHS is committed to keeping the community informed every step of the way. This website continues to be updated with the most current information. If you have a specific question, please feel free to fill out the form above or send an email to info@lwhsproject.org.

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Recently Asked Questions

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Lick-Wilmerding High School

755 Ocean Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94112 | 415.333.4021
A private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding High School develops the head, heart, and hands of highly motivated students from all walks of life, inspiring them to become lifelong learners who contribute to the world with confidence and compassion.