Progress on Little Falls Road
In 2013, Bishop O’Connell undertook a comprehensive study to develop a master plan to align the physical facilities with the school’s mission-driven strategic plan. The project evolved from the need to address functional, organization and space deficiencies of a school that was originally designed more than 60 years ago in the co-institutional model of single-sex classrooms. Boys and girls entered the school through separate entrances that faced Trinidad and Underwood Streets. The “boys side” and “girls side” shared a central courtyard, cafeteria, and library that connected the two halves.
With the help of Maginniss + del Ninno Architects, an eight-phase Master Site Plan was developed to guide the process of modernizing the school’s facilities. The plan provides a sequenced phased approach to addressing the evolving space requirements of curricula and the need for flexible learning and teaching spaces that meet today's educational landscape.
Select the date tab below to view photos and updates from previous weeks.
- Oct. 4, 2019
- Sept. 20, 2019
- Sept. 7, 2019
- August 29, 2019
- August 23, 2019
- Aug. 16, 2019
- August 2, 2019
Out front, most of the retaining walls have been faced with stone, and the part that is not faced, nearest to Little Falls Road, will be a tiered seating area wrapping all the way to the end. Part of the seating area will be covered with a pergola to provide some shade and definition. The Holy Family statue, which stood in front of the flagpole before construction began, will be re-installed at the end of the wall.
The front plaza will be concrete with brick inlays and have two pedestrian exits with crosswalks across the drop off lanes to lead to the new main entrance. Between the plaza and the handicapped parking will be a level and lightly landscaped area that disguises a run-off retention system. Underneath the surface will be filter material to make sure rainwater run-off does no damage to the cleanliness of the Potomac watershed. The front plaza will be concrete with brick inlays and have two exits with crosswalks across the drop off lanes to the main entrance.
Small front lot near Underwood St. and Little Falls Road - We will be re-striping this lot with angled spaces only. Because of the newly created exit near the plaza, this lot will be one-way only and the new angled spaces will make the parking process easier.
Senior parking lot (closest to the baseball field) – There was a lot of digging in this area over the summer that included a required underground water retention system, as well as buried cables for the infrastructure of the new building. The surface has had initial repaving, and there will be temporary re-striping and added crosswalks to get us through the construction of the new academic building and chapel at the site of the former IHM convent.
Most of the concrete work has been completed inside the courtyard. There will be a new additional access point into the courtyard directly from the cafeteria. The new door for this will go in later this fall, along with a lot of landscaping in the new planting beds around the courtyard's perimeter. The steps into the courtyard from the cafeteria and the new first floor corridor will take shape next week. The statue of Our Lady of Grace will find her new home in the courtyard just a few feet from where she has been since 1957. Don't be confused by the plywood that currently covers much of the surface of the courtyard; it is there to protect the concrete as the rest of the project catches up. When completed, the courtyard will have ten new picnic tables ready for senior lunches and social gatherings.
New Connecting Corridors
The concrete floor for the second level of the new connecting corridor that runs across the courtyard was poured this week. The first floor will be poured at the end of next week. Once the second floor corridor between the center hall and the Trinidad St. wing is far enough along, the construction company will move the temporary connecting tunnel from the first floor to the second, and will finish work on the first floor corridor. In the next week or two, we should also start seeing frames for glass walls going up on the front of the building and the first and second floor of the new courtyard corridor.
Infrastructure Work Inside Trinidad Street Wing
Inside the ground floor of the Trinidad wing, all the infrastructure work for the sprinkler system for the new and old parts of the building are being installed. Eventually all those pipes in the ceiling will disappear above a new suspended ceiling.
Phase 2 – New Academic Wing and Chapel – Coming Out of the Ground
Construction work for the new academic wing and chapel will begin with excavation for the building’s basement. This will commence once the Phase 1 construction projects no longer require moving large equipment down the temporary road to the courtyard.
Safety and Compliance
The construction company, the architect and our O’Connell team are in regular contact with the Arlington County building and safety offices to ensure that we are in compliance or exceeding required codes.