New St. Rose Education Center Dedicated

September 9, 2010
The Daily Transcript

The new education center building at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Chula Vista has been formally blessed and dedicated by Bishop Robert Brom of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

The two-story, mission style building at H Street and Third Avenue was designed by San Diego-based domusstudio architecture and constructed by Erickson-Hall Construction Co.

Completed in time for school to start Sept. 7, the nearly 24,000-square-foot De Flores Center is one of the first phases in the church's master plan.

The education building will house school and religious education programs and is designed to be an efficient response to the parameters of the property, parish requirements and the urban location.

"The Education Center has been an amazing project," said David Pfeifer, AIA, principal at domusstudio architecture, a 24-year-old San Diego firm specializing in liturgical and religious structures in Southern California.

St. Rose of Lima is among the architect's 40 or so active church clients.

"It's incredible how much building we could fit onto the tight footprint of this site," Pfeifer continued.

"By pushing the building to the perimeter of the property, we have created a more efficient use of space for a very popular church. We have created safe, quiet places for gathering that were severely lacking on the campus before the project had begun," Pheifer said.

Jim Fisher, construction manager for Erickson-Hall, said, "Construction of a building within three inches of the lot lines at a busy downtown location with equally busy school and Parish activity has been a challenge. The whole construction team has worked very hard to make it all come together, and the City of Chula Vista has been a very helpful partner in the process."

The church is located on fewer than 4 acres in downtown Chula Vista.

The new education center building has 10 classrooms, two additional preschool classrooms, an enlarged science classroom, computer classroom and library.

Teacher support areas are located adjacent to each classroom for ease of resource material preparation.

Deacon Greg Smyth was the construction coordinator for the parish.

To more efficiently serve a dual purpose, David Pfeifer designed custom cabinetry in each of the classrooms. Through the collaborate teamwork of domusstudio, Erickson-Hall, Troxell and Mission Valley Cabinets, the result was custom casework "teaching walls."

The teaching walls include fully electronic Starboards with built in projectors as well as sliding white boards with storage behind to provide a functional teaching environment.

Additional architectural innovations include all the ground-floor windows of the school being placed higher than standard, so that students and teachers have the benefit of daylight but are not visible from the street.

The building itself is two to five feet higher than the sidewalk.

"The walls are insulated, with sound deadening and resilient channels, and all the street-level windows are tinted, laminated and dual-glazed," Pfeifer said.

The education center is the first of three phases in St. Rose of Lima's master plan.

ocated at the northwest corner of the property, the building's large entry courtyard eventually will also provide access to a new two-story parish hall. The final phase at St. Rose of Lima will bring a new 1,500-seat church building.

In addition to the architecture and planning services by domusstudio architecture, Escondido-based Erickson-Hall Construction Co. provided design assistance and construction services.

Martin & Libby Structural Engineers, T*Squared Mechanical, Electrical Engineers, Rick Engineering and DPA Landscape Architects also contributed services to the project.

St. Rose parishioners provided discounted materials and services for the project's structural steel, stone veneer, masonry, pavers and stucco.