Project Type: Interior Design

Independent Schools

Mount Alvernia High School

Newton, MA

Mount Alvernia High School is a private, all girls Catholic school for students in grades 7-12. Approximately 200 students attend the school each year. In addition to the high school, the campus includes a chapel and a convent for retired nuns. DRA Interiors was contacted by the School to lead several projects around the campus. The main focus of the work was to update and modify existing spaces for functionality, aesthetics and flexibility.

The first project was to create a cafeteria for the school. Students had been having their lunch in the gym due to the lack of space. The convent allocated space for a student cafeteria that provides a serving area for purchasing hot lunches, microwave stations, and vending machines. DRA’s work included selection of a new color scheme, flexible furniture, energy efficient lighting, window treatments, finishes, and ADA accessible doors. New technology was added to the cafeteria including a flat screen TV, a large pull-down projection screen, and a sound system, providing a space for multiple purposes. Flexible tables are easily folded up and reconfigured to create space for meetings, administrative functions, and various teaming events.

The School’s gymnasium was updated with new paint, ceiling, lights, and maple wood athletic flooring featuring the Mount Alvernia logo. Due to the limited throughout the facility, new lockers had to be installed in the gym. Renovation of the chemistry lab incorporated flexible tables to allow for both lab learning and lecture learning. DRA selected new case goods, ceiling,  lighting, flooring, ergonomic seating, lab equipment, and window treatments. Three administrative offices were renovated for the Head Master, Assistant Head Master and Admissions Office. The updated spaces feature new furniture, window treatments, finishes, and artwork. 

The main lobby of the School is shared by the convent and is a major circulation space between the school and the cafeteria. The goal was to create a uniform space that defined areas for both school use (students/visitors) and convent use (sisters and their visitors). Selecting  same style furniture with different colors defined the spaces needed to achieve these results. On the school side, ottomans and stools make for a more informal gathering space. An inspirational quote on the wall reflects the school’s philosophy. Technology was introduced to the space with a large flat screen monitor for school announcements and to welcome visitors.  Carpeting and ambient lighting create a warm, inviting environment.

The most recent renovation was the new Media Center, which has now become a hub of student activity. By reevaluating the book collections, and keeping only necessary publications, the number of stacks was drastically reduced, creating optimal space for a new layout. The Media Center now features multiple learning areas for lectures, computer classes, and small group learning. Flexible furniture is easily reconfigured for different student activities. A variety of seating styles are available including task chairs, soft seating, and high-top stools. The contemporary design of the new circulation desk creates a welcoming entrance to the Center.

Project Leadership

Ann Marie Procopio, IIDA

Associate and Director of Interior Design

Chuxin Zhang

Interior Designer
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