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/ Golden Gate University Master Plan + Implementation

For over ten years, Ratcliff has been engaged at Golden Gate University (GGU) providing master planning and design services for numerous projects, ranging from small tenant improvements to more extensive renovations and additions in buildings completed as early as the year 1913 up to those completed in 1978. Starting in early 2000, when the firm was asked to produce a facilities master plan, the goals of the university included consolidating space and functions for streamlined facility efficiency, improving access and circulation for students and staff, upgrading building systems to support state-of-the-art learning environments and articulating a new professional identity to the local business community. When complete, the campus improvements will total over $60 million in construction cost.

The first phase of construction was the addition of a nine-level silo housing new mechanical and telecommunications equipment and infrastructure that fed the adjacent classroom wing in the main academic building at 536 Mission. The new building systems allowed for improved air quality in the existing classroom wing and supported the incorporation of new multi-media systems into the renovated 2nd floor auditoria and third floor classrooms creating state-of-the art learning environments.

The next series of projects addressed the expansion and renovation of the Law Library. The goals of the expansion were to increase stack capacity while also providing more study space for law students. The first step involved a 10,000 sf remodel of an existing lower level of the Library installing compact shelving systems and new study carrels while also updating finishes, lighting and mechanical systems.

In order to free up space for the remaining Law Library expansion, the firm then undertook the renovation of an adjacent historic warehouse located at 40 Jessie Street. The renovated space provided space for relocated university departments, allowing GGU to consolidate all school functions within its two main campus buildings. The concrete warehouse building, originally constructed in 1913 for the manufacture of ship boilers, was bequeathed to the University in 1990 and had been used primarily as a staging and storage area. The project increased the building’s capacity to 50,000 s.f., adding three levels, Floors 2, 5 and 6 and renovating existing floors to create a new Student Services Center and University administrative offices.

Once the 40 Jessie Street renovation was complete, the Law library expansion could continue into newly vacated space which was then reconfigured to include a new reading room, new main entrance, a new reference desk and staff offices. The new reading room and entry enhance the Law Schools visibility and overall campus profile in San Franciscos downtown Financial District.

Along with ongoing tenant improvements to fill out remaining space at 40 Jessie Street, the most recently completed work at GGU is the renovation of the sixth floor at 536 Mission. Existing classrooms were converted into an executive conference center and include new finishes, lighting, furniture and a state-of-the-art audio visual system that will allow events to be captured digitally and posted online. The Presidents offices, adjacent to the new conference center, were also renovated as part of
the work.

Additional projects include the design of a Litigation Center for the Law School, which will include a suite of moot courtrooms, practice rooms, and conference rooms for use in litigation instruction and competitions. Future renovation of remaining existing classrooms and faculty office spaces are also planned.


San Francisco, CA


128,000 SF


  • Guaranteed Maximum Price


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Planning
  • Programming
  • Renovation