St. Rita Catholic Community

Dallas, Texas/13 acres

As part of its capital campaign “Building the Future,” St. Rita Catholic Community engaged BOKA Powell to assist in envisioning a more functional, connected campus to support academic and church life. Over the course of a year, stakeholders from the church and school were engaged through focus groups, committee meetings, surveys and one-on-one meetings. The resulting plan draws inspiration from Venice’s Piazza San Marco, centering on a new Parish and school administration building on the campus’ west side, with phased expansion plans for a new auditorium and gymnasium. The new building creates a linear, tree-lined pedestrian promenade through the center of campus, and effectively reorients the campus’ entrance from busy Inwood Road to Harvest Hill Road. A signature pedestrian bridge, installed in June 2015, connects students and parishioners from parking to the new promenade, on axis with the iconic bell tower. Enhanced landscaping at the perimeter will provide privacy and preserve the neighborhood’s character. A key element of the plan is to update the current school cafeteria into a flexible, comfortable community gathering space that maximizes capacity options while providing a modern, functional kitchen for serving community events. Interior improvements introduce natural light, allow for division of the space, and implement acoustical control solutions to dampen noise. Under the Parish’s leadership, St. Rita completed all planned phases of construction in the spring of 2017.