St. Mary's School

Location: Alexandria, Va.

Project type: education

Client: Arlington Diocese of the Catholic Church


  • new cafeteria
  • classrooms renovations
  • HVAC replacement
  • new roof and windows
  • acoustic improvement

St. Mary's School was a critical, fast-track design and construction project for improvements to mitigate impacts of construction (including extended pile driving) of the adjacent Wilson Bridge project. The work focused on modernization related to sound mitigation. Numerous options were studied for the 89,000-square-foot facility, and selection was made through an intensive cost and value analysis.

St. Mary's School is located in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The site is just north of the Wilson Bridge separated by a cemetery and is considered historically significant. The design was reviewed and approved by the Board of Architectural Review.

The primary project was the replacement of more than 250 windows and the addition of separate "interior" window units with 1/4-inch laminated glass. The new dual-pane exterior windows matched the layout and look of the historic double hung wood sash but included a clad finish for minimal maintenance and long-time durability. A major upgrade of the HVAC system was required to provide fresh air to the occupants per current standards because the previous ventilation "system" relied on open or leaky windows. A carefully designed ceiling system met the major challenge to provide new ductwork within the original interiors. HVAC changes also provided the opportunity to replace aging equipment with improved energy efficient systems.