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Diocese of Arlington welcomes new OPCF director

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Andrew Schulman, new director of the Office of Planning, Construction and Facilities, wants the diocese to know that he plans to increase efficiency in his new role.

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Andrew Schulman is the new diocesan OPCF director. DIOCESE OF ARLINGTON | COURTESY

“I’m looking to improve the efficiency, transparency, quality and timeliness of the services that the parishes receive,” Schulman said.

Schulman succeeds Reid Herlihy in the position that provides oversight for all diocesan and parish construction projects, including planning, design, budget, financing and construction. Many of the types of projects typically undertaken by the office include church and school renovations, repairs, site expansions and new construction projects.

“Reid was a consummate professional who left behind a stellar legacy of construction and facility management excellence,” said Schulman. “It’s an honor to carry on Reid’s good work.”

Schulman joins the diocese following a long and successful career as an architect, manager and U.S. military officer. He holds a master’s in architecture from the University of Wisconsin as well as a master’s in construction management from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Originally from Wisconsin, Schulman spent the summer after high school studying gothic cathedrals in France and said he became “hooked on church design and the history of cathedral engineering.”

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1990 to help defray the costs of architecture school and subsequently spent the next 27 years managing the construction and facilities of U.S. military installations all over the world.

“I am proud to have had the privilege of leading the amazing young women and men that volunteer to serve in our military, as well as the valuable experience gained working alongside the many professional civilian engineers and architects that selflessly serve alongside our uniformed personnel,” Schulman said.

Schulman has lived “all over the place.” Some of his tours of duty included living and working in Japan, California, Hawaii and various locations in Virginia. He completed two combat deployments to Afghanistan as well as operational assignments in Thailand, Guam and Spain.

The military brought him to Northern Virginia seven years ago. He spent three legislative cycles serving as a staff member on the House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill and joined the chancery staff in mid-February.

Schulman said the diocese will become increasingly busy with construction projects in the coming year, estimating total planned work to exceed $35 million.

“There is a tremendous amount of construction going on right now, plus more coming down the pipe,” he said.

Ongoing construction projects include the expansion of Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria; new construction and an addition to Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington; renovations at Christ House in Alexandria; a new school at Paul VI Catholic High School; a church for Corpus Christi Church in South Riding; renovations at St. Bernadette School in Springfield; a new hall at St. Anthony Mission in King George; and construction of the new St. Patrick Church in Fredericksburg.

Future construction projects include new dome lighting and renovations for Queen of Apostles Church in Alexandria; parish office modifications at All Saints Church in Manassas; a school roof replacement at St. Philip Church in Falls Church; renovations at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church in Arlington; and a new preschool at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church.  

Schulman is a parishioner at Nativity Catholic Church in Burke and has a child attending St. Paul VI. In his spare time, he is an avid reader of history and a fledgling fly fisherman.

“I am delighted to have ‘dropped anchor’ here at the diocese, and I’m looking forward to working with our parishes and schools in the years ahead,” Schulman said.

Fletcher can be reached at zita.fletcher@catholicherald.com or on Twitter @zbfletcherACH.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019