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St. Louis Catholic School sees new Jr. High Addition

By Rebecca Conrad

 

Maybe it was divine inspiration, but I will concede that it all started with this sketch from Msgr. John McArthur emailed to me on a sheet of yellow legal paper.  Before this sketch, we had been planning for the new addition to be behind the existing school.

It was that following March of 2012 that ground was broken for the construction of a new 2-story Junior High Wing on St. Louis’ East Memphis campus, the first phase of a multi-phased campaign to renovate and update the existing school and its technology program. 

I must admit we all had our doubts that this addition with 8 new classrooms, a state of the art science lab, a music room, and its centerpiece, the Distance Learning Center, would fit in this strip of ground at the corner of White Station and Shady Grove, but as divine intervention would have it, it did.

The original 1-story, brick school that this addition sits in front of was built in the 1950’s and featured a cast stone wall with a simple bronze metal cross and letters that read, “Saint Louis School.”   

This detail from the past, with the cast stone pilasters of the 1997 Church Renovation and the brick detailing found around campus inspired the design of this new addition that helps to fill in and complete this once unassuming corner of campus.  The finished building is not imposing as one might think and does not crowd this corner.  Instead, with its attention to massing and detailing, along with thoughtful landscaping, seat walls, and a new  wrought iron and brick fence, it finishes it and gives St. Louis’ campus an edge and a presence that it was lacking at this well-traveled intersection. 

In January 2013, nine months after construction began, the 2012-2013 class of 7th and 8th grade students, were able to move into these spacious new, technologically advanced classrooms, featuring insulated, tinted low-e windows, energy efficient design,  sustainable materials, and low voc finishes.  This move, with the shifting of classrooms, the freeing up of tired spaces, and the obvious line created between the old and the new, mean the next phases can begin.  

Posted by Eli Cloud at 2:21 PM
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