Cañada College Facility Plan Redwood City, California

To further the College’s goal of fostering a sense of belonging across campus, the plan identifies opportunities to strengthen the connection to the campus core, construct future phases of housing, reimagine spaces to connect students with resources, and develop welcoming and accessible affinity spaces that support campus life.

  • Location

    Redwood City, California

  • Sector


  • Service


  • Client

    San Mateo County Community College District

  • Status


  • Size

    102 Acres

Cañada College is a public, two-year community college located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Cañada has operated for more than 50 years, offering diverse educational opportunities for the residents of San Mateo County. Constructed in 1968, Cañada College is located on a hillside overlooking the bay in the southern area of San Mateo County.


The College is located within Redwood City near Woodside. The campus is situated in a neighborhood of mostly low-scale, single-family residences. Cañada is served by a SamTrans bus line that links the campus to the Redwood City Transit Center and CalTrain. It is easily accessed by I-280, connecting the school to other parts of the county and greater Bay Area.

Engagement with Cañada stakeholders informed every phase of the Facilities Master Planning process, Interviews with key programs and departments, working groups with students, and community forums resulted in a diversity of voices shaping the content of the FMP. Several key themes emerged from the early listening sessions with participants. These included questions about multi-modal instruction, desires to improve the pedestrian experience, and interest in developing affinity spaces for students. Feedback also emphasized that the plan should focus on enhancing the experience of campus to be welcoming and accessible for  all visitors.

The provision of housing to support students and employees was a strong interest of the College and the District. To prepare Cañada for future development, the FMP identifies opportunity areas for new phases of campus housing. While the FMP does not yet propose new housing projects or provide detailed recommendations for programming, the selected sites will allow stakeholders to evaluate challenges, opportunities, assets, and trade-offs when future projects come forward. Stakeholders also noted the need for the inclusion childcare facilities in new housing programming to support students and employees.

The proposed mobility framework at Cañada aims to improve the experience of arriving to and moving through campus for all users, whether on foot, driving a vehicle, or using public transportation. Several projects are recommended to enhance mobility on campus, including an enhanced pedestrian realm and improved drop-off areas.

The long-term vision for Cañada College considers the overall connectivity of campus, imagining opportunities for open space, infrastructure, and circulation improvements that may be made possible as the campus evolves. All new projects should serve to strengthen the connection to the core of campus.