The downtown Catholic, private, and coeducational high school offers excellent opportunities to a multitude of students of varied ethnical, racial, socio-economic and religious backgrounds. And it is growing fast!

The Client

The campus of Charleston Catholic High School is located in downtown Charleston, West Virginia, just a block away from the Kanawha River and the hip, historic, and ‘almost heaven’ center of the Mountain State’s capital.

In 2016, with over 400 students in six grades and ranking high on the city’s popularity scale, the school needed all classroom space it could attain to make all opportunities available.

The Challenge

In 1994, CCHS leadership envisioned an expansion of the school to a fourth floor, and in August 2016 Jarrett Construction began the implementation of the year-long addition project, adding 25% more usable classroom space to the building.

We needed to facilitate the extension of the existing elevator and hoistway with minimal downtime for students, staff, and maintenance personnel.

The Solution

We planned the alterations to the existing hoistway and elevator in close coordination with the construction company.

As the elevator needed to be out of service during the critical phase of the expansion, we utilized the school’s Spring Break to facilitate most of our work on the building. For most of the building period, the elevator was perfectly usable.

Charleston Catholic High School, home of the Irish, is a staple to downtown Charleston. At their campus, nestled around the Sacred Heart Church, the students dressed in blue and white school uniforms follow a busy schedule. Principal Colleen Hoyer announced the plans to expand the main building by adding a fourth floor in 2016.

Pre-Construction Rendering

The John and Margret Krupa Foundation bestowed the school with a generous lead gift, as Margaret Krupa was an attendee of the school and a longtime donor. Through additional fundraising, the school made the dream possible, encouraging the students to “think big thoughts and to realize that they have the power now to lay the groundwork and to take the necessary steps to help their dreams one day become reality,” said Principal Hoyer.

John and Margaret Grishaber Krupa Fourth Floor Annex

The design presented several challenges, but the Columbia, MD, architectural firm Arium AE relied on their ability to recognize and align design and engineering services with CCHS’ goals and expectations and delivered a creative solution that fits like a glove. The Charleston, WV, based company Jarrett Construction Services completed the project in fourteen months. It includes the addition of over 11,200 square feet of usable space, featuring a centerpiece chapel with iconic triple arched limestone windows, three classrooms, three bathrooms, two faculty offices, and an A/V office.

The Fourth Floor Chapel

The alteration of the existing hoist way went smoothly, and DC Elevator was able to complete the additional steps in the allowed time, largely during the 2016 Spring Break. We extended the rails and trailing cable, installed a fourth-floor hoistway door and a matching call station. The elevator was upgraded to accommodate a new fire alarm system, and the controller was reprogrammed to allow for the additional fourth-floor stop.

The Completed Fourth Floor Landing

As we look at the finished project, we can do nothing but agree with Principle Hoyer, as she quotes First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” We are glad to have contributed our share to make this dream a reality!