By Claire Byun
The Cathedral Montessori School is working to revamp its campus to accommodate more age levels, and the project recently got the go-ahead from the city.
School officials wants to relocate a modular classroom while adding to an existing building in order to house more students. There are also plans to demolish an existing carport and replace it with a covered play area, which gained approval from the City Planning Commission last week.
Fred Allison, of Lachin Architects, was on-hand to answer any questions from the commission, though it passed without any opposition or clarifications from the board.
“We hope you approve it, based on the staff’s recommendations,” Allison said.
Staff recommended approval of the plan with one proviso: providing the required number of bicycle parking spots and using correct wall signage.
Cathedral Montessori, located at 9 Fortress Road, serves children aged five and six and boasts three structures: the main building containing classrooms; a temporary modular classroom building; and a covered play area in a detached accessory structure that previously functioned as a carport. The school shares a lot with the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral and Hellenic Cultural Center.
The expanded campus would include additional age levels, first up to age nine and later up to age twelve. Renovations to the existing main building include the enclosure of an existing staircase, renovation of the warming kitchen and student restrooms on the first floor, and creation of new classroom and faculty support areas on the second floor, according to documents from the city.
The first floor would include four classrooms—including one covered outdoor classroom—as well as a multi-purpose room, a warming kitchen, restrooms, a student wash area, laundry, a break room, and storage space, and would be used by the three to six years old students. Second floor construction will be completed in two phases. The first phase of construction will result in one additional classroom for students ages six through nine, student and faculty restrooms, administration/office, a multi-purpose room, and a work room. Phase two would transform the multi-purpose room, some storage space, and a restroom into an additional classroom for use by ages nine through twelve.
Upon the completion of phase two, the school will include a total of six classrooms.
The school started in 2010 with support from the Orthodox church and is open to students of all religious, cultural, and racial backgrounds. There’s also an after-school program and a summer program offered through the school.
“It strives to create an atmosphere that fosters the love of God and the love of humanity. Its students are offered opportunities for formal worship in the Greek Orthodox tradition as well as the study of Christianity and other world religions” according to the school’s website. “The Greek Orthodox Church distinguishes between education and evangelism and recognizes that the primary purpose of the Cathedral Montessori School is to educate.”