College of Marin Organic Farm

  • Location: Marin Community College District / Novato, CA
  • Type: Higher Education
  • Scope: New Construction
  • Completion Date: August 2018

Project Background

The Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden (IVOFG) is a successful educational farm created and managed by the College of Marin (COM), the Conservation Corps North Bay, UC Cooperative Extension and the Cultural Conservancy to promote local food systems and teach sustainable agricultural practices. After a decade of growth, Measure B bonds funded facility upgrades at the Farm site on COM’s Indian Valley campus, expanding space for technical education classes and skill-based green job training for the Marin community. Brought in as a project partner, American Modular Systems (AMS) installed three custom permanent modular buildings, adding 4,800 square feet of multi-use classroom space, administrative offices and restrooms for Farm students and users. The centerpiece of the project is a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen that also serves as a teaching classroom where local chefs can host organic cooking classes and workshops using fresh produce and herbs grown in the Farm’s organic garden.

AMS’ factory-built approach was a cost-effective solution for the Marin Community College District, which saved time and money by using AMS’ DSA PC designs and piggyback contract to expedite procurement, while allowing the space to be tailored to the Farm’s unique needs. The modern buildings reflect Marin’s sustainable mindset, with a sturdy steel-and-concrete construction and hybrid stucco exteriors that are eco-friendly and low-maintenance, designed for durable performance over a long lifecycle. Spacious, open classrooms accommodate academic study, practical hands-on experience and large group gatherings, separated by foldable wall partitions that allow space to be expanded or downsized for a variety of activities and instructional methods. Upgraded windows fill the buildings with natural light and outdoor views, creating an inviting learning environment and a connection to the farm and gardens beyond—a key feature for a facility where indoor and outdoor education is intertwined.