St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and School was founded in 1951 as an African American Franciscan church and school. The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities have led the school since its conception and strive to instill life-long learning, leadership and service in each student. The original school was a single-wing addition to the church and shared office space with other church programs.
With a desire to increase enrollment and consolidate mobile classroom units, the parish embarked on the design of a new elementary school to house Kindergarten through 6th grades and include smart classrooms, a gymnasium, art room, library, cafeteria and an administration suite. The two-story, 31,000 SF building is connected near the main entrance by a custom monumental stair with elements that were handcrafted by a local metal smith. Way-finding to clusters of classroom spaces was organized with large graphic installations depicting African American Franciscan religious scenes and coordinating colors.
Designed to blend into the residential neighborhood, the exterior of the building is comprised of stone veneer, plank siding, cedar brackets and metal standing seam roof assemblies. A long front canopy allows for easy drop-off and pick-up of students and also supports a vegetated roof. The kindergarten wing is supported by a separate drop-off to allow parents the ability to walk their children to their classrooms. The building was placed adjacent to a playground, which allows young children to access the playground without crossing the parking lot.