News

New Student Commons Building for St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile

April 22, 2019

Not merely a spot for students to hang out between classes, student commons are a fundamental part of campus life and serve many functions. TAG/The Architects Group, Inc. recently completed the new Student Commons Building at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, an independent, parochial, co-educational preparatory school in Mobile.

The two-story, 25,000-square-foot Student Commons will serve as a hub of student activity on the St. Paul’s campus. The new facility includes offices, classrooms, innovations lab, and a kitchen and dining area, which was expanded to accommodate St. Paul’s growing student population.

“It is so rewarding to design a building that the students love,” says David M. Barr, AIA, TAG Principal-In-Charge. “Students have already watched the NCAA Tournaments during their lunch hour and the class of 2019 has enjoyed Senior Grandparents Day and other exciting events in the new building.”

Though, as Barr points out, the new Student Commons is not “all fun and games.” The building also houses an innovations lab and a writing center, which provides space for collaborative learning with advanced technology, and new and improved space for the school’s community service program, counseling services and admissions office.

Expanding the dining area took precedence, says Daniel J. Borcicky, AIA, TAG Principal Architect/Director of Design: “Lunch waves were getting to be very hectic and the need for expansion and upgrades was a priority. The school’s colors of blue and red were also incorporated in the furniture, fixtures and equipment to let the students know that this is their place and to promote school pride.”

St. Paul’s Episcopal School is part of a residential neighborhood and is adjacent to historic Spring Hill College. Because of its location, a design challenge was to maintain the neighborhood feel and minimize disruption during construction.

While most construction was scheduled during the summer, the final phases took place during the fall, which included the school’s football season. Despite this challenge, the work flowed smoothly and credit is given in large part to the efforts of TAG’s Construction Manager Tom Kelly, CM, CFM, LEED AP and the builder, Ben M. Radcliff Contractor, Inc.

 

Image 1- TAG/The Architects Group, Inc. recently completed the new Student Commons Building at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, an independent, parochial, co-educational preparatory school in Mobile. The two-story, 25,000-square-foot Student Commons will serve as a hub of student activity.

Image 2 – The new facility includes offices, classrooms, innovations lab, and a kitchen and dining area, which was expanded to accommodate St. Paul’s growing student population. On the wall in an area designed with seating options is a display devoted to donors who helped make the new Student Commons possible.

Image 3 -Tables in the dining hall are moveable so the school can utilize the space for multiple events such as Grandparent’s Day lunch, student dances and lectures. Its primary use, however, is to serve students meals and is located directly next to the cafeteria.

Image 4 -Various materials were used for the walls and floors, which make for a pleasing and distinctive space. The new facility includes offices, classrooms, innovations lab, and a kitchen and dining areas, which was expanded to accommodate St. Paul’s growing student population.

*Article Written By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of TAG Architects