DC Catholic School Buildings to be Renovated

April 11, 2003

Immaculate Conception Catholic School, adjacent to the new Washington Convention Center, is scheduled to undergo a complete renovation starting this summer. Also this summer, the Archdiocese of Washington will begin an assessment and evaluation of the building that houses Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic School in Southeast Washington.

Immaculate Conception currently serves 96 students in Pre-K to Grade 4. The renovation of the nearly 140-year-old, three-story building will include central air conditioning, four new classrooms from reconfigured space, new bathrooms, an elevator and new lighting. In addition, the school will be assessed for possible new uses, including a state-of-the-art early learning center and the addition of grades 5-8. Funding and construction details are being finalized. Renovations are expected to be completed by February 2004.

While construction is underway, students will attend classes at another location. Details on the construction schedule and the location for classes next year will be announced within the next few weeks.

“We are very excited about this project. The Archdiocese is committed to serving students in our nation’s capital and we are working with the business community to ensure our students have the facilities they need for learning. In fact, these renovations are the first phase of a plan to assess, renovate and update a number of schools,” said Dr. Patricia Weitzel-O’Neill, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Washington.

Immaculate Conception is one of 11 Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese’s Center City Consortium. Working in partnership with the business community, the Consortium ensures new resources, services, tuition aid and capital improvements are available to Catholic schools in financially challenged neighborhoods of our nation’s capital.

Temporarily closing Immaculate Conception for a complete renovation is a new model for the Archdiocese. In the past, Catholic elementary schools have been renovated in stages during school breaks.

Our Lady Queen of Peace School will be the next school to be evaluated and assessed to determine how the building can best serve the educational needs of children in the community. The 117 students in Kindergarten-Grade 8 at Our Lady Queen of Peace will transfer to other Catholic schools, including St. Francis Xavier School, next fall while the assessment and planning for the Queen of Peace school building is completed and funding sources are identified. The five-story, 40-year-old school building is in need of major renovation and repair. The timetable for completion has not been finalized.

The Archdiocese of Washington includes 110 pre-school, elementary and secondary Catholic schools in Washington, DC and suburban and southern Maryland; 25 elementary schools, a school for persons with developmental disabilities and five high schools are located in the District of Columbia.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]