Our Lady Star of the Sea School & Parish Community Center

Bremerton, WA

Winner 1997/98 ABC of Western WA “Project of the Year Award”

Description: New Catholic School and Community Center

Owner: Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle

Rice Fergus Architects

Completion Date: September, 1997

We were awarded this low bid contract to replace an existing school built in the 1920’s, which had been condemned due to seismic inadequacies. This facility was the first new Catholic School built in Washington State in over thirty years, and incorporates more than 20,000 bricks from the old school that were painstakingly salvaged and cleaned by Parish members (see image below). Other items that were salvaged for re-use were the main entry wood doors, the entry arch, the exterior glass doors, and all of the fir ceiling from the chapel. The fir was professionally stripped and refinished for use as wainscot in all of the hallways.

Parish Member Cleaning Bricks
We coordinated the efforts of the Parish volunteers who demolished the old school, and donated the dump truck for debris removal. Our employees also volunteered their weekends to help with the demolition, site clearing, and the landscaping. Our safety record on this project was excellent; we worked 9,765 hours on this project with zero accidents.

This project was completed approximately 2 months ahead of schedule and under the Parish's established budget. Due to design and construction methods used, this school was completed at considerable savings compared to similar public schools, even though all work was done at the same wage rate. The money saved was enough to pay for finishes in the new basement library, kitchen, music room and meeting rooms which were originally scheduled to remain unfinished, PLUS over roofing the adjacent gymnasium which had been damaged in the notorious 1996 ice storm.