SVA Architects Honored by CASH and AIA California for Innovative Faculty & Staff Housing in Jefferson Union High School District

Jurors Expand Awards Program to Recognize Affordable Community for District Staff


Oakland, CA, February 24, 2023 – Today, SVA Architects and the Jefferson Union High School District were honored by the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) and the American Institute of Architects California (AIA California) at the 2023 Leroy F. Greene Design & Planning Awards.  The Serramonte Del Rey Faculty & Staff Housing, also known as 705 Serramonte, received a Jury Citation Award.  Helping to bring housing equity to the region, 705 Serramonte is an affordable housing community specifically for district faculty & staff.  The award-winning project serves as a national model for regions where high costs have placed an extreme burden on the public school workforce.


Leroy F. Greene Design & Planning Awards

The CASH and the AIA California have held the annual Leroy F. Greene Design & Planning Awards to recognize excellence in school facilities design since 1991.  This year’s awards ceremony was held on the final day of the CASH 44th Annual Conference at the Safe Credit Union Convention Center in Sacramento.  Entries were judged based on the project’s planning process, learning environment, design, community environment, physical environment, and high performance (or sustainability strategies).  While not one of the traditional awards, the jury added a Jury Citation Award to recognize 705 Serramonte’s attributes and highlight its importance.


Robert Simons, AIA, President of SVA Architects, states, “This project tackles the goal of providing affordable housing for faculty and staff in an area with a housing crisis and a high cost of living.  Affordable housing allows staff to be full-time members of the community where they teach, and provides more stability and cohesion for the students’ learning experience.  We thank the jury for recognizing this project.”


About 705 Serramonte

The 705 Serramonte community consists of 122 apartment homes, with 59 one-bedroom, 56 two-bedroom, and 7 three-bedroom units.  Homes range from 640 – 1,270 sq. ft., with rental rates set significantly below market rate at the time of occupancy.  Homes feature vinyl plank flooring, stainless steel appliances, and generous windows with abundant light.  Community features include a community room, coworking spaces, laundry facilities, a fitness center, and a landscaped courtyard with children’s play structures, BBQ area, and ample seating. This 3.3-acre community is the first phase of the walkable and bikeable Serramonte Del Rey neighborhood, which will cover a total of 22 acres and include retail stores, open park space, and recreation trails.


Jefferson Union High School District was the first K-12 school district to pass a bond exclusively to build an affordable housing community for teachers and staff.  The $64 million project received $33 million in bond funds provided by the passage of Measure J in June 2018.  The project was completed in May 2022, with the first residents moving in throughout the summer in time for the 2022-2023 school year.


Nathan Herrero, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal at SVA Architects, states, “SVA’s vision was to design homes and community spaces that feel like a market-rate development. Along with the District, we wanted to honor the critical work of educators by offering comfortable spaces that feel like a haven at the end of the day.”