Emerson Elementary School

Location: Oakland, CA

Project Type:

Size: 1 acre

Partners: Verde Design


When Emerson Elementary School was identified by OUSD as the site of the District’s new women’s softball field, the school decided to simultaneously redesign its entire outdoor play area. Joining Verde Design, who designed the ballfield, PGAdesign reimagined the schoolyard.

PGAdesign engaged with the school community to integrate the new ballfield with the school campus and to provide a play structure and basketball courts complementing the large, open play space of the ballfield. The project required balancing Emerson students’ use of the play area and ballfield during the day with the needs of the softball players outside school hours. The field hosts softball players from across the entire Oakland Unified School District, as well as visiting softball teams.

Emerson’s school community wanted an updated play structure allowing kids of all abilities to play together. PGAdesign delivered on this request by incorporating ground-level play components, ramps and transfer platforms to reach elevated components, and sensory play elements. Connecting the play area with the existing turf mound gives opportunities for unstructured play and ties the new playground to the existing campus.

Location: Oakland, CA

Project Type: Education

Size: 1 acre

When Emerson Elementary School was identified by OUSD as the site of the District’s new women’s softball field, the school decided to simultaneously redesign its entire outdoor play area. Joining Verde Design, who designed the ballfield, PGAdesign reimagined the schoolyard.

PGAdesign engaged with the school community to integrate the new ballfield with the school campus and to provide a play structure and basketball courts complementing the large, open play space of the ballfield. The project required balancing Emerson students’ use of the play area and ballfield during the day with the needs of the softball players outside school hours. The field hosts softball players from across the entire Oakland Unified School District, as well as visiting softball teams.

Emerson’s school community wanted an updated play structure allowing kids of all abilities to play together. PGAdesign delivered on this request by incorporating ground-level play components, ramps and transfer platforms to reach elevated components, and sensory play elements. Connecting the play area with the existing turf mound gives opportunities for unstructured play and ties the new playground to the existing campus.