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Main Campus Building Project

Marin Horizon School Portable Replacement and Multi-Use Building Project

We are excited to bring you into a conversation regarding our plan to upgrade Marin Horizon School's campus. Schools are, by nature, dynamic places where meeting the needs of children and families directs the school’s vision. We have worked hard to create a plan that enhances our learning environment and delivers on our ongoing commitment to providing a top-notch education in joyful classrooms, all while minimizing impacts on the community. Our proposed plan is to replace the three aging portables with an upgraded library/classroom/learning center space, reconfiguring outdoor play spaces and considering a flexible building. Our proposal will achieve our vision without expanding the school's footprint beyond the existing property lines or increasing enrollment.

We know that our Homestead Valley neighbors have a special interest in these plans. Homestead Valley has been Marin Horizon School's home since 1992. Our Head of School and many of our families live in the immediate neighborhood. We have been committed to a robust community outreach process as we’ve moved through the initial entitlements and design review application, and now the building permit and construction process (of our Library and Classroom project).  We expect and always welcome public input on ways to improve our campus improvement plans. 

Questions or comments? Please contact Lizzie Porter-Roth, Director of Marketing and Communications at lizzie@marinhorizon.org or 415.388.8408 ext. 424.

Latest Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • What is Marin Horizon School proposing?

    The school’s campus project involves the following components:
    (1)    Replacement of the approximately 2,740 gsf portables with a two-story library/classroom/learning center building of about 4,144 gsf with a maximum height of 32 feet. The new building aligns with the second and third story roof heights of the adjacent middle school building. The building is designed as an infill structure on the current library portable site, set into the hillside, and nestled between the upper school and primary classroom buildings.
    (2)    Future construction of a multi-use building on the site of the existing assembly steps. It includes a one-story, approximately 13’ high flat roofed kitchen/foyer/green room component (stepping up to 20’ high over the stage area), adjacent to the Homestead Valley Community Center.  It is attached to a one-story assembly area to the east, on the school’s interior playground side, providing a stepping up in height as you move further from the Homestead Valley Community Center.  In addition, the sloped roof over the assembly area rises from 22’8” at the southern edge, to approximately 26’6” at its highest point at the northern edge, which is closest to the nearby three-story middle school. The high point now aligns with the middle school’s second story roof.  The building is tucked into the hillside as much as possible, but provides for a 16’ landscaped buffer between the Community Center to allow for sufficient landscape screening.  The building totals 5,285 gsf.  The multi-use building will be a flexible space that can accommodate a variety of uses such as school community meetings, arts activities, indoor play and lunchroom space.
    (3) Reconfiguration of the outdoor play space to reflect the new building footprints. There will be new landscaping, bio swales, trees and garden areas throughout the site.

    (4) Additional fire code permissible screening of the buildings will be planted along Montford Avenue, and between the multi-use building and HVCC.  The rear facades of both new buildings and the existing middle school building will be painted a dark green to blend into the landscape. Green roofs, utilizing a variety of very drought tolerant succulents and other plants, will be installed at both the library and multi use buildings, providing additional visual blending into the environment, while providing an energy efficient roofing system.   
  • How has the project evolved?

    Following an extensive outreach process, the school made significant changes to the height, massing, landscaping, and other areas of the project, which are in direct response to the neighborhood’s feedback. Below are links to a summary of the changes as well as updated plans and views.
    ·          Campus Project Changes
    ·          Revised Plans
  • Are you increasing students, faculty or staff?

    No, we are not increasing enrollment, faculty or staff. The library/classroom/learning center building replaces existing uses on the property. The multi-use building provides spaces for activities that are either currently conducted outside, weather permitting (school community meetings, Grandparents and Special Friends Day, Earth Day events, recess play activities, etc.), that occur indoors in the classrooms (lunch service and eating area) or that must be conducted off-site (drama, winter concert, etc.). Lunch service will be moved from outdoor under the overhang next to the primary classrooms, and students would have a dedicated eating area.  Pick up, drop off, and entry into the school will continue at the current location and with the same procedures.  
  • Why is Marin Horizon School pursuing these changes and why are they necessary?

    In the past, we have made improvements to meet certain needs, but the talented faculty and staff are currently working around outmoded facilities in some spaces. The most compelling  issue is that the three portables are beyond their useful life, and need to be replaced. Two of them are located in the current creek setback area. We want to replace those structures with an infill building that meets our foreseeable need for replacement classroom space, learning support, a library, small meeting areas and administrative support, all to modern standards, including meeting needs of diverse learners for different kinds of spaces. The school also has a pressing need for a multi-use space that can accommodate school community meetings and events, support the school's arts and drama activities, and allow for indoor play and eating areas, particularly in inclement weather. There is currently no indoor space where these activities can occur.
  • How will the multi-use building be used?

    The space will accommodate a variety of uses, including lunch space, stage/arts activities, and school community meetings. On occasion there will be school events that are currently held off-site such as middle school moving on ceremony, holiday concert, etc.  The multi-use building also includes a small kitchen area (240 sf) for the prepping of student lunches that are brought in.
  • What consideration has been given to the Homestead Valley Community Center?

    We have worked closely with the Homestead Valley Community Association Board and its feedback is reflected in the multi-use building's design. There is a major grade change between the HVCC property to the multi-use building site, with a substantial fence located along the property line. Substantial landscaping will shield most of the building from view and the new building will be painted a dark green color to blend into this landscape buffer as well as the landscape beyond the building. The design incorporates a roof that slopes down from the middle school to the parking lot and is below the view of the ridge beyond. The combination of these factors means that the top of the multi-use building will be minimally visible from the HVCC site. We have reviewed the shadows from the multi-use building at various intervals throughout the year starting at 9:00 a.m. and have confirmed that they do not reach beyond the property line.
  • Describe your outreach plan.

    We have shared our thinking and plans with the MHS/Homestead Valley Joint Committee and the HVCA Board over the past few years. We also have held two community open houses, four separate neighborhood office hours, site tours, and individual neighbor meetings. To ensure that everyone is aware of these meetings, we have provided extensive public notice (Homestead Headlines, NextDoor, sandwich boards at nearby intersections, website).  As we now move forward with construction of the Library and Classroom building we will continue to make community outreach a critical part of the process, including periodic updates on our website.
  • Will the project be LEED certified? What are the sustainable/green elements of the project?

    Given current state and local requirements, virtually every building is required to be built to LEED or similar standards.  We are working on exceeding those requirements and meeting LEED platinum-level standards through features such as green material selections for new buildings, reducing hardscape/adding green spaces, green roofs, etc.  Most importantly, the project takes advantage of the building siting for use of natural light within the new buildings, and reduces heat gain through exterior shading, operable windows and natural ventilation.  
    Beyond LEED standards, the school is reviewing various green building standards specific to schools to make sure that we have the most expansive view of sustainability.  We are also contributing to the health of the creek by removing structures in the creek setback area and reducing impervious surfaces to help reduce storm water runoff.  Sustainability also includes operations, and we have convened a task force to focus on extending our existing sustainable operations, and enhancing those with the new facilities.  Finally, we believe that "wellness" and sustainability go hand in hand.  Wellness is an integral part of our curriculum, and we look forward to enhancing that through features such as improved indoor and outdoor play spaces, natural ventilation and light, a healthy food and gardening program.
  • What is the approvals process and schedule?

    Marin Horizon submitted its application to the County of Marin in September 2017. Staff reviewed the application and asked for some additional information. Meanwhile, the school also took the time to incorporate design changes to the project that were based on neighborhood feedback. After reviewing the revised plans with the neighbors, we resubmitted our application and received Design Review and Planning approval in October of 2018. We submitted our Building Permit application in May of 2019 and began demolition and site preparation work in July 2019.
  • What is your construction schedule and how will construction impacts be managed?

    We currently estimate construction will take 10 months and be complete in May 2020. Specific elements and the estimated schedule is as follows:

    • Demolition and Site Prep/Utilities- July-August 2019
    • Foundations- August-September 2019
    • Structure- September-December 2019
    • Exterior- November 2019-January 2020
    • Interiors- February-April 2020
    • Completion/Closeout- May 2020

    We have submitted our Construction Management Plan to the County, which includes our job trailer, construction fencing, material lay down areas, and contractor parking all located in the interior of our campus. All deliveries and construction traffic will enter the site via the driveway to the back parking lot of the school. This was based on feedback we received from our neighbors, and their concerns about potential traffic impacts on Montford Avenue. We have created protocols to ensure the safety of everyone on our campus, including children, faculty and staff, as well as neighbors. Periodic closing of the driveway, parking lot, and playgrounds may be necessary to ensure safety. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this construction period. Construction hours, per the County conditions, are limited to 8am-5pm on weekdays. Any weekend work is by permission only, with further restricted hours.

    If you have any questions or concerns during the Library/Classroom building construction, please contact our Project Manager, Ted Lieser. His contact info is: ted@ecbsf.com; 415-272-3847.
Non-discrimination policy: We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, gender identification, disability or other category protected by law. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the School's non-discrimination policies, including its Title IX policy:
Name: Laurie Kelly, Title: Accounting Manager, Office Address: 305 Montford Ave. Mill Valley, CA 94941, Telephone Number: (415) 384-4232, Email Address: Laurie@marinhorizon.org
For assistance related to Title IX or other civil rights laws, please contact OCR at OCR@ed.gov or 800-421-3481, TDD 800-877-8339.