Founded in 1882 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Our Lady of Peace (OLP) is the oldest high school in San Diego. In 1924, the Sisters purchased a 1916 estate on 20 acres overlooking Mission Valley in the North Park area of San Diego. The property was converted into classrooms, a music building and library and has expanded over the years – maximizing the use of these historic buildings. When J&J came on board, the school was at a juncture where critical infrastructure – such as electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and interior pedestrian flow –was presenting challenges and hindering the school’s plans for modern educational growth.
The ambitious $20 million “Boundless Project” entails the comprehensive renovation and historic preservation of these iconic facilities as well as the addition of a new performing arts building to the small footprint campus. The school will remain open and operational throughout both phases of the project and the construction team has brought great creativity and flexibility to minimize construction impact to the operations of the school.
The first phase of the project, was completed in the summer of 2020 and encompassed the renovation of the oldest buildings on campus – the 19,424 sf Navarra Hall, formerly Aquinas Hall, and the 15,432 sf Shiley Hall. Scope of work included demolition of existing structures, exterior renovation/enhancement, infrastructure work, new interconnecting stairs, modern classroom layout, faculty lounges, restrooms and custom murals. Preserving the nuances and hallmarks of the original construction was paramount to the process – as was increasing measures to secure the campus, with the elimination of multiple points of entry.
Phase 2, slated to start in Fall 2021, will consist of construction of a new 23,089 sf subterranean building that will include a 2,626 sf theater, a dance studio, music room, set shop and media center.