Fairfax, California


Ross Valley School District

Design Partners

WRNS Studio


Interface Engineering


22 Acres


Phase 1 Completed 2014

About this Project

White Hill Middle School is a public school in the Ross Valley School District with the mission to cultivate the child by fostering academic excellence, cultural richness, and social, emotional, and physical development. The campus is situated in a valley surrounded by tree-covered hills, open space, and residential neighborhoods. The headwaters of Fairfax Creek run through the campus, and tributary watersheds beyond that are conveyed through the campus by way of buried culverts. The District’s goal for the school’s development was to create enhanced connectivity with its stunning surroundings. Sherwood embraced this concept by bringing water to the forefront, creating a beautiful and educational atmosphere. Stormwater management strategies included treating runoff from all impervious surfaces with flow-through treatment planters, which overflow into open cascading swales that also convey the upstream watersheds between the classroom buildings. Building downspouts are made visible, as is the path of water cascading down different levels on its way to and from the treatment planters. Finally, the main gathering area was built with pervious concrete to eliminate any concentrated runoff that would occur before these improvements.