SAINT JOHN PAUL THE GREAT HIGH SCHOOL

Location: Dumfries, VA
Size: 188,443 Square Feet
Client: Arlington Diocese of the Catholic Church
Completed: 2008
Type: New Catholic High School

The Arlington Diocese commissioned MTFA to design a new Catholic High School in Prince William County to respond to growth in the community. The design was developed to respond to a steeply sloped site which MTFA used to the school’s advantage to create an efficient four-story design organized around a central two-story space housing instructional areas, linking the cafeteria and auditorium at one end, and the gymnasium and library at the other.

The school entry is located at the center of the building on axis with a new chapel prominently emphasizing the school’s mission and values. Wings serving the library and a theater are angled inward to create the effect of a welcoming cloistered courtyard at the entrance. Wings serving the recreation and food service angle out in the rear of the building to embrace the wooded landscape. Separate entrances are provided for the auditorium and gymnasium functions for flexibility and after-hours use.

MTFA collaborated with the Arlington Diocese and a design-build contractor to achieve dramatic cost reductions through foresight and diligence, while retaining the fundamental design and program identity.