College of San Mateo Facility Plan San Mateo, California

The plan considers the overall connectivity of campus, imagining opportunities for open space, infrastructure, and circulation improvements that may be made possible by new major projects. The plan also addresses the need for new learning spaces to support rapid changes in instructional delivery and pedagogy.

  • Location

    San Mateo, California

  • Sector


  • Service


  • Client

    San Mateo County Community College District

  • Status


  • Size

    153 Acres

College of San Mateo is a public, two-year community college located in the northern corridor of Silicon Valley in San Mateo County. Since its establishment 1922, CSM has served students as a gateway to higher education leading to university transfer, career preparation and advancement, and professional and personal development. Located in the heart of the county, College of San Mateo is situated on a beautiful 153-acre hillside site that provides sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay.


The College is located within the City of San Mateo and is less than two miles from the city’s central business district. The campus is situated among commercial parcels, single- and multi-family residential uses, and ample open space. It is easily accessed by I-280, connecting the school to other parts of the county and greater Bay Area.

College of San Mateo’s hillside siting presents challenges for pedestrian access to and navigation on campus. Due to factors including topography, trip distance, and trip origin, few students and staff arrive to campus on foot. The pedestrian network thus begins at vehicular drop-off areas and parking lots and is most robust within the campus core. Sidewalks extend to the periphery of campus but are relatively less utilized.

The vision for mobility at CSM 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 relocating the bus stop to a more accessible and central location. New student housing also presents opportunities to consider vehicular, transit, and bicycle circulation around the site and improve the car/shuttle drop-off area near the campus core.

Based on the analysis of existing conditions, previous planning efforts, research and assessments, and multiple meetings with College stakeholders, the FMP proposes five modernization projects. These projects are informed by District-wide Planning Principles and are recommended to support several of the College’s FMP Goals, including renovating facilities to anticipate evolving program needs, providing accessible and well-connected housing for students, and developing spaces to support collaboration among the CSM community.

Improvements to wayfinding, accessibility, and learning technology can also enhance the campus experience for students, employees, and community members. This visioning ensures that future development results in a holistic, accessible, and cohesive campus.