New St. Rose Building Will Feature Enlarged Classroom, Library

February 20, 2009

Ground has been broken for the new 24,000-square-foot Education Center building at St. Rose of Lima parish in Chula Vista.

The building, designed by Domusstudio Architecture, kicks off a 10-year redevelopment project that includes rebuilding of the church and parish hall.

The rebuilding project -- which entails demolishing the old buildings and rebuilding in phases -- is essential, in part, because the existing facilities don't meet earthquake or disabled-access standards, and they are worn out with some having over 60 years of heavy use, said David Pfeifer, principal at Domusstudio.

The real challenge, Pfeifer continued, is to construct the new building in a surgical manner, so that the existing parish and school can continue to operate throughout all phases of construction.

Deacon Gregory Smyth, project facilitator at the church, asked Erickson-Hall Construction Company to bring in their preconstruction services personnel early in design to provide budget controls and hands-on constructability.

"Responses on cost and constructability were always timely," Pfeifer added. "Erickson-Hall's school and church experience, along with an AGC Award winning safety record made them the perfect fit for the job."

The Education Center building is the first phase, incorporating nine classrooms, two additional preschool classrooms, an enlarged science classroom, computer lab and library.

The facilities were designed with teacher support areas adjacent to each classroom for ease of resource material preparation.

Several classrooms will be equipped for interactive SMART Board technology, which combines the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer.

All of the rooms will accommodate kindergarten through eighth-grade school, as well as parish educational functions.

The completed Education Center will include a new ball field that also serves to treat and cleanse any rainwater.

The parish has lined up $5.3 million in contributions and financing, about one-third of its funding goal for the entire project, and enough to move forward with the first phase.

Domusstudio is a firm specializing in liturgical and religious structures in Southern California. St. Rose of Lima, in Chula Vista since 1921, is among the 22-year-old company's 40 or so active church clients.