Educational Facilities

Yerba Buena High School Student Union

San Jose, California

Yerba Buena High School Student Union

2019 | Chair’s Award | Educational Facilities | National Award — Excellence | National Award — Merit

Yerba Buena High School Student Union


The vision for Yerba Buena High School’s Student Union was to create a “paradigm change” to unite students, staff and administrators in human-centered environments that create a hub for academic, social and community inspiration. That vision was achieved with this 37,150-square-foot build that houses several different user groups and includes a full kitchen, server administration, counseling, records, library, student union, a bank, classrooms and a fitness center. The building is the center of an outdoor quad improvement that created a central hub for campus life. The student union and quad transformation is the new heart of the YBHS campus in a community where 77% of district residents live below poverty level.

Design-Build Breathes Life into the Campus Community

Yerba Buena High School (YBHS) Student Union was one of the first K-12 design-build projects in California, the first design-build project for the East Side Union High School District and has become a model for future projects. One challenge was not only to provide the best design solution for the campus, but to do so in a collaborative manner that brought together the District and a design-build team of thought leaders and experts in their professions. The structured process throughout design and construction helped the team remain focused on value, and the commitment level to a school that is seen as a beacon in the community rang through time and again throughout construction. Through a collaborative design-build journey, the team leveraged the existing facility assets and, through the transformation and a new construction addition, created open, transparent and flexible spaces that bring students, staff and administrators together to share cross cultural experiences. The new facility is a game changer for YBHS students and the community, which rallied to support its design and construction.


Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: East Side Union High School District
Design-Build Firm: Flint Builders, Inc.
General Contractor: Flint Builders, Inc.
Architect: MFDB Architects, Inc. | JK Architecture + Engineering
Engineer: Buehler Engineering Inc.
Project Manager: Flint Builders, Inc.
Construction Duration: 22 Months
Project Cost: $19,080,732.00

Photo Credit: Travis M. Turner Photography