HOLY CROSS SCHOOL
Renovation of Lewis Hall
Garrett Park, MD
Renovation, Construction Administration
The campus of Holy Cross School, a private, PK through 8 Catholic school, was constructed in the early 1960’s on a wooded 9 acre site in Garrett Park, Maryland. Since the school’s inception, Lewis Hall has served as an integral part of day to day activities for both the school and church. This 3,600 SF multi-purpose room serves as the location for a broad range of functions including the church’s social hall, school cafeteria, an assembly, performance and ceremony space, a gymnasium, and meeting space for school clubs and parish groups.
During routine maintenance, cracks were discovered in the masonry wall of Lewis Hall leading to further structural studies which reveled severe structural defects in the building. Over half of the wood trusses supporting the roof had fractured and a half inch wide crack had developed along the length of the wall at the bottom of the window sills. The facility was immediately closed and braced and subsequent structural investigations concluded that the roof and damaged wall would need to be removed and reconstructed.
The school took this opportunity to improve the functioning of the indispensable facility. Davis Buckley Architects and Planners (DBA) assisted with the 50th anniversary capital campaign by providing renderings and other visual and written material to articulate the project’s intent and engage the school and church community.
DBA’s design for the renovated Lewis Hall extends beyond its previous limitations as a cafeteria by incorporating a higher roof, a retractable stage, basketball hoops, athletic rubber flooring, movable room dividers, storage rooms, and a fully renovated commercial kitchen to maximize the potential use for this multi-purpose space. Sustainable design strategies such as the use of energy efficient zoned lighting, Energy Star rated commercial kitchen equipment and the installation of materials meeting the requirements of the GREENGUARD Children and School Certification program were integrated with innovative building technologies to set a new design standard for the school. The addition of limestone trim that matched the arch connecting the church and school and new signage along the building’s front facade established a consistent architectural vocabulary that better integrated Lewis Hall with the other 1960s buildings and church.