Helping to Create a Healthy Columbia
The St. John Neumann School is a significant part of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health’s community-driven initiative to create ‘Healthy Columbia’. RGS assisted with the zoning and land development process necessary for the construction of CHI’s inspiring new school environment to foster a health-focused and lifelong love of learning in Columbia Borough and the surrounding community.
Urban Infill Opportunity
An exceptional 20th century structure located at 401 Locust Street in Columbia was selected by the client as the location for its St. John Neumann School for Children & Families. The building is located within the borough’s downtown commercial core.
Mid-century demolition of an adjoining building produced a convenient parking lot, but it also created an unfortunate gap in this key downtown streetscape. Recently, a 10,000 SF building addition was constructed over this existing parking area, and it was skillfully linked to the preserved building to form the St. John Neumann School for Children & Families. Approximately 25 staff members and 112 children ages 6 weeks old to 5 years old now use this safe learning environment.
Working with the Borough to Create a Healthy Learning Environment
The Columbia Borough Zoning Hearing Board granted a variance to on-site parking requirements conditioned upon the client, CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health, securing nearby parking spaces for staff to use. To facilitate early morning food deliveries and child drop-off/pick-up times, RGS then garnered borough approval for an essential short-term parking/loading area.
Our team also designed other building improvements and site upgrades to get the building operable. This included new stormwater facilities, a grease trap to serve the school’s kitchen, and new water service to provide adequate fire suppression.