Nixon Elementary School



Nixon Elementary School

1711 Stanford Ave.

Built: 1970, 2004

Total Site Area:

10.3 Acres

Building Area/Miscellaneous Circulation


Parking Area


Hard-Court Play Area


Turf Play Area


Building Area:                          59,403 SF

Existing Classroom Size           960 to 1440 SF

2006/2007 Enrollment:           446

Nixon Elementary School is set on a 10-acre sloping site off Stanford Ave. and is terraced into three major levels.  Nixon was originally built in 1970 and renovated in 2004.

There is a parking lot at the top of the site, with the buildings toward the middle terrace and the playfields on the lower terrace. There are two permanent buildings built in 1970 that house the classrooms, Administration and Library functions of the campus.  Also included in the main building is an MP room.  The smaller building is the Kindergarten wing which houses two classrooms.

In 2004 all the interior spaces of the campus except for the Multipurpose room were renovated and the roofs of the main buildings were replaced. Some slope stabilization work was also done in the latest renovation work.

Needs Summary

Nixon has been mentioned recently for expansion due to potential growth for Stanford housing. It is unique in the District in that it is organized in a cluster configuration that leads to a collaborative teaching approach. Although new portables were added in 2004 and 2007 they do not integrate with the campus.

Like other the other schools planned for half day kindergarten the site lacks appropriate kindergarten classrooms for the extended day program.

Proposed masterplan projects include:

  • Convert existing kindergarten pod to three enrichment labs
  • Construct new kindergarten wing with four classrooms
  • Construct new classrooms adjacent to existing pods to facilitate consistency with the current teaching approach
  • Add learning center and resource center
  • Improvements to food service capabilities in Multipurpose building
  • Modernization of existing classrooms
  • Exterior envelope improvements
  • Accessible playground and improved ADA access to lower fields

Nixon is also unique in the District in that it has air conditioning. In the cluster configuration, there are fewer windows and less need for replacement. However, future classroom modernization will also include upgraded technology infrastructure and equipment including projectors and LED screens. Site work includes new paving, ramps, an accessible playground, and planting.

Facilities Conditions

The Nixon campus is in the Stanford community, off Stanford Ave., a busy thoroughfare in Palo Alto.  Though modified to create more efficient traffic flow, the on-site parking and drop off facilities are limited which creates some congestion on Stanford as parents wait to enter the drop off areas.  The school has implemented a traffic plan with parents, which has made the current configuration as efficient as possible.

The asphalt parking lot is undersized for the size of the campus, but the upper hardcourt area has been modified to accommodate parking.  Incorporating additional parking or drop off space on site is limited due to the slope of the site.  The lot was overlaid and re-striped after the 2004 project and appears to be in good condition.  The hardcourt areas were also in good condition after overlayment.  Concrete walkways are original and vary in their condition around the campus based on drainage.

The sanitary sewer system is original and has not been replaced to date.  These lines should be evaluated and replaced if necessary. A new copper domestic water service was installed in 1992. New fire hydrants serving the site were added during Building for Excellence, and a new electrical service was also installed. The gas service was replaced in 1992 and is run underground to the buildings.  Site drainage systems are also original but appear to be in good condition. Roof drainage was improved greatly during re-roofing in 2004, but downspouts are not yet connected to the storm drain system, causing local flooding in some areas.

The existing buildings on the Nixon Elementary School campus are in generally good condition.

All of the buildings on campus have single ply membrane roofing, hollow metal doors and painted wood or stucco exteriors.  The original windows were left in place, but the glazing in these units are in good condition. This is the single Elementary School campus in the district that has air conditioning. 

The campus included accessibility improvements during the 2004 renovation, with path of travel and restroom upgrades throughout the campus. However, some transitions and ramps on the campus are not in compliance. In addition, voluntary seismic upgrades were undertaken for all the buildings and canopy structures.

The classroom interiors were all modernized, with flooring, wall surfaces, markerboards, furnace units, lighting, power and data distribution being replaced.  Portions of the casework were replaced with new plastic laminate units, with the remaining casework left in place as painted wood.  The acoustic ceiling tiles were replaced on this campus.

The Library and Administration areas were renovated with new flooring, casework and paint. Mechanical equipment, plumbing and lighting were replaced throughout.  The Multipurpose room was only slightly modernized, with new flooring and a handicap lift placed within the interior. 

The Library at 5,289 SF and the Multipurpose room at 4,553 SF are both adequate for the current campus capacity, though the Multipurpose room and adjacent spaces will be fully renovated in the future to meet new Multipurpose room standards.