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Bishop O’Connell unveils new plaza, atrium

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Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington celebrated the completion of its entrance plaza and atrium with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 22. The new plaza has a large flagpole, a statue of the Holy Family and tiered seating. The atrium lobby has large windows, an elevator, and gathering spaces with tables and chairs. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge participated in the event by celebrating Mass for the community, blessing the spaces and cutting the ribbon.

New Head of School William Crittenberger expressed his gratitude for those who helped with the renovation. Later this year, the school will unveil a new turf baseball field, a chapel and a three-story, 14-classroom academic building on the site of the former convent of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

“Joining the Bishop O'Connell community this July 1, and thus coming into this project as it was well underway, I have been impressed with the planning that went into it and the many people who have worked so hard to get us to this moment,” Crittenberger said.

Senior John Armor is already enjoying the atrium. “The new entrance not only modernizes the school with features such as dangling light fixtures, the marble Knights shield on the floor and an official lobby area with stylish furniture, but it also improves the overall flow of students traveling to their classes. The multitude of large windows allows for a brighter and more lively atmosphere,” he said. “I’m glad to be back on campus.”

Senior John Armor addresses those gathered at the ribbon cutting Sept. 22. ZOEY MARAIST  |  CATHOLIC HERALD

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Senior Bridget Agyekum said the welcoming new space reminds her of how inviting the school really is. “New beginnings. That's all I see when I stand in the new atrium,” she said. “I remember when I first came to O’Connell, (I was) scared because I didn't know anyone. But I walked into my advisory and was met with a warm welcome from the late Sister Anne Marie (Markoe). ‘Good morning,’ she said to me. ‘Would you like a piece of candy?’ At that very moment, I knew if a nun just offered me a piece of candy at 8 a.m., it was going to be a great year.”

Buy photos from the event at catholicherald.smugmug.com.



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020

@ZoeyMaraistACH