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  John-Paul II Education Center, St. Mark’s Catholic Church

John-Paul II Education Center, St. Mark’s Catholic ChurchArchitect

Lord Architecture, Inc.
11650 Iberia Place, #210, San Diego, CA 92128

General Description

Location: San Marcos, California
Date Bid: Feb 2006
Construction Period: Apr 2006 to Aug 2007
Total Square Feet: 25,530 Site: 6.37 acres.
Number of Buildings: One; 17 classrooms with a seating capacity of 15 to 35; 3 multi-purpose rooms.
Building Size: First floor, 14,510; second floor, 11,020; total, 25,530 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 13’4”; second floor, 21’8”; floor to floor, 13’4”; total height, 35’.
Basic Construction Type: New/Type V-1HR, Masonry bearing walls & wood frame infill.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: CMU, wood frame, stucco.
Roof: Built-up, concrete tile. Floors: Concrete, wood composite. Interior Walls: Wood stud drywall.
Projected and/or Modeled Energy Usage: 105.11 KBTU/SF/yr.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: GNR Engineering, Inc. - 6130 Innovation Way, Carlsbad, CA 92009
General Contractor: Zigman Shields General Contractors - 3276 Rosecrans Street, #300, San Diego, CA 92110
Mechanical Engineer: Merrick & Associates Mechanical Consulting Engineers - 9606 Tierra Grande Street, #206, San Diego, CA 92126
Electrical Engineer: A.R. Devenyns & Associates - 2840 Adams Avenue, #310, San Diego, CA 92116
Landscape Architect: Darsono Design Associates - 5014 Mt. La Platta Drive, San Diego, CA 92117

The Catholic Parish of St. Mark’s is experiencing the happy challenges of success. Their religious education program has grown from several hundred students to almost three thousand students who attend a staggered schedule of classes held throughout the week. The number of ministries and community outreach programs also expanded. At the same time, the campus was suffering because of a disorganized collection of aging buildings, each separated by a tangle of parking lots with poor traffic flow. The overall impression of anyone visiting the parish was that St. Mark’s paid more attention to cars than to welcoming individuals to their facilities.

The new Education Center is the first phase in a multi-phase effort to reorganize the entire campus and shift the focus to building the strength of the parish community. The new two-story building is filled with classroom spaces and multipurpose rooms of widely varying sizes, supported by a kitchen and library. The staff offices were placed in a one-story element to allow monitoring of the program activities. That same office element also aligns with the main entry to the church at the opposite side of the campus. The net result is that a landscaped pedestrian spine has been created to join all of campus facilities together.

The parishioners enjoy a large gathering plaza, located on the pedestrian spine, which has become the hub of life on the campus. All around the plaza are discretely placed connections for power and gas to serve the annual parish festival as well as various outdoor events. A trellis shades part of the plaza, and includes the timber beams from the parish’s first building. The old beams showcase the carved signatures of all the parish founders. The parking areas have been re-organized to occupy the perimeter of the property leaving a pedestrian friendly accessible campus.

Working in conjunction with San Diego Gas & Electric and a statewide electric utility Savings by Design Program, the architect and engineers pursued common sense goals to save as much energy as possible through passive technologies, and high efficiency mechanical and lighting systems. Upon completion, the building proved to be 48% more efficient in energy consumption than the proscribed requirements of California’s strict Title 24 regulations.


DIV. 7: Built Up: Johns Manville.
DIV. 8: Aluminum Entrances & Storefronts: Arcadia.
DIV. 9: Carpet: Collins & Aikman; Tile: Crossville Ceramics, Dal-Tile.
DIV. 14: Elevators: ThyssenKrupp.
DIV. 26: Lighting: Prescolite, Columbia, Lightolier, Halo.


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