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Newsletter – Issue 32

Newsletter – Issue 32
June 20, 2023 A.J. Brown

Newsletter – Issue 32

Reinvigorating Campus History: A Project at Villa Duchesne

About three years ago, we sat down with leadership at Villa Duchesne, a private Catholic school in the St. Louis area that includes a coed kindergarten and elementary grades, as well as an all-girls high school. We discussed their desire to enhance an existing building on the school’s campus while maintaining its beauty and history.

Over the course of discussion and collaboration, the team determined that the project would include a reimagined theater and drama department to replace the one currently in use. As project planning evolved, the team decided that the renovation should include a large gathering area that would be an important part of student life on campus and would be unlike any other space of its kind in the area. The project also incorporated the addition of new restrooms, a gallery, a café/snack area, and a school gift shop.

When it was time to begin the work of construction and renovation, the COVID-19 pandemic had complicated supply chains everywhere. We were tasked with becoming even more nimble as we coped with pandemic-related complications, including material shortages and limited manpower.

As is true whenever we undertake a project that includes a historic building, extra planning goes into ensuring the materials used will complement those that already exist. In this project, the design and construction we undertook were chosen to match the original. Some of the materials and design features we used include:

  • Rusticated stone walls
  • Large, vault-style windows
  • Wood wainscoting
  • Slate roofing
  • Copper gutters
  • Terrazzo flooring

Additionally, the new atrium area has a 21-foot coffered ceiling with wood moldings, a large skylight, wood wainscot on all ways and terrazzo flooring installed with an intricate pattern design.

Despite the complications, we completed this complex—and beautiful—project in a little more than a year and are pleased to say our client is satisfied. Dominic Key, Villa Duchesne’s manager of community engagement and campus improvements, says: “Your wisdom, leadership and support have been exemplary and appreciated. We could not have done this without you.”

The Villa Duchesne Schaefer Family Student Life Center is truly a space unlike any other educational space in the area. And it will serve students and the community well for many years to come. “The Center is truly a work of art, where our students are already making memories and learning every day,” Key adds.

“Your wisdom, leadership and support have been exemplary and appreciated. We could not have done this without you.”

Dominic Key
Villa Duchesne Manager of Community Engagement and Campus Improvements

Working for you

A.J. Brown is committed to clear communication and time-proven management strategies, all designed to deliver a construction project that meets client goals. “We make it our business to understand our clients’ business objectives so we can help them succeed,” says Rendleman. “We’re here to make you look good.”

If you’re looking for the right partner for your next construction project, talk to A.J. Brown. You can reach Doug Rendleman at 636-537-3636.