By Kate KowshAll Hallows Catholic Community recently completed a nearly 13,000 sq. ft. addition. San Diego Catholic Bishop Robert H. Brom presided over its dedication and blessing on Sun. Jan. 27.
Located at the corner of Nautilus St. and La Jolla Scenic Dr. South, the facility now provides the community’s school, All Hallows Academy, much needed room for classroom space, according to Principle Architect for Golba Architecture and La Jolla Community Planning Association Member Tim Golba. Golba, who was married at the church 17 years ago, and has two daughters who currently attend classes there, volunteered his services to aid in the new development. He explained that the new facility includes state-of-the-art computer and science rooms, a new library, administrative offices, a health center, a music room and kindergarten space.
“By doing this,” Golba said, “we can remove some of the trailers we were using, free up some more of our athletic play fields and spaces there and really kind of just return the school to its maximum potential.”
All Hallows Academy Principal for the past three years, Michaele Durant said the new facility will also house a faculty seminar room for meetings and in-services, and a fireside room with a kitchenette. “It’s a multi-purpose building actually, for both the parish and the school,” she said. “The school probably will end up using it more because of the classrooms.” Principal Durant also noted another important upgrade. “We have a learning center at our Academy for students who are challenged with disabilities,” she explained. “They previously had been working out of two classrooms. They now have three new classrooms.”
All Hallows Academy is K-8 and currently has 254 students enrolled with one classroom for each grade, Durant said.
Although its located in La Jolla, Golba said the Academy draws its students from a wide variety of areas around San Diego, including fairly heavily from Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, the Bay Park area, and even as far east as Scripps Ranch and, Rancho Santa Fe.
As for how the plan to upgrade came about, Principal Durant explained that parents and parishioners put their heads together to decide what would be best overall for enhancing programs and bettering the environment for the academy and for the parish.
Aesthetically, Principal Durant explained that the additions look and fit accurately with the building’s previous structure, which opened in 1964. “When they did the building, they looked at the existing church and the attached school building and they constructed it in a way that it looks like it’s absolutely all connected,” she explained. “The decor, or the architecture, work matches particularly the church.”
According to Golba, all funds for the addition came directly as donations from parishioners. He added that, although fundraising efforts are still needed to help pay off some remaining costs, the gap is closing.
Principal Durant said the response from the public has been great. “We’ve actually had a number of open houses and they’re just in awe because actually it’s much better and even more beautiful than we even anticipated it would be.”
Golba said he believes the upgraded facility will last some time into the future. “This computer lab is probably better than the one I had in my college,” he explained. “You know, so I think we almost even sidestepped high school quality-we really did. It is absolute state-of-the-art. So the science room, the computer labs, certainly our music room--all those facilities will last us indefinitely now or quite a ways into the future.”