FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ABA Transforms Santa Catalina 1960s Library to Align with School’s Academic and Health & Wellness Programs

Monterey, Calif., March 20, 2023 – Santa Catalina School (SCS), an all-girls private school serving day and boarding students in grades nine through 12, and Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School, for boys and girls in pre-k through grade eight, recently celebrated the grand re-opening of the Sister Mary Kieran Library. Serving Santa Catalina’s high school and middle school students, the library underwent a complete interior renovation including a centralized second-story mezzanine. Anderson Brulé Architects (ABA), a longtime SCS partner, led the project’s planning and design and Avila Construction served as the project’s design-build contractor.“The much-anticipated completion of our beloved library was a collaborative effort involving our project partners and our greater Santa Catalina community,” said Head of School Dr. Barbara Ostos. “The guidance and planning of our project team were paramount in the project’s successful delivery as we worked to completely transform our library’s physical spaces and functions. Our new library gives our students inspiring new spaces to collaborate, discover, engage, and relax.”

Originally built in the late 1960s, the aging library required significant upgrades to continue serving students as a contemporary learning environment. Completely redesigned to align with the school’s emphasis on cultural empathy and global perspective, the 14,000 sq. ft. two-story library building features a variety of reading nooks, social spaces, teamwork areas, personal rest areas, and technology such as interactive wall displays and teleconferencing equipment. Reflecting a unique partnership with the school’s health & wellness program, the library includes a kitchen, wellness coaching rooms, and multi-purpose space.

“Our design-build team’s investment throughout the planning process, was key to designing in step with the larger Santa Catalina community’s programmatic and experiential goals for the renovation,” said project architect Jason Hull, AIA. “Pam’s connection to the school was a strong asset in working with faculty, students, and other members of the school community to define the project’s goals and vision.” ABA co-founder and SCS alumna Pamela Anderson-Brulé, FAIA, adds: “The school is very close to my heart, and it was an honor to work alongside the talented ABA/Avila team in support of its continued success. This transformed library is the outcome of close collaboration, hard work, and a shared commitment to the school’s educational vision.”

Boasting access to a robust set of learning tools and environments, the library’s ethos remains grounded by colors, finishes and furnishings – such as new wood-simulating metal ceilings, glove lights, and other stylistic elements – inspired by the school’s history and surrounding Monterey culture. Inside the library’s Hayward Innovation Zone and home to the health and wellness program, a kitchen for healthy cooking classes and flexible space for meditation and yoga workshops further support the library’s function as a healthy building.

With sustainability a top priority, the renovation includes updated high-performing window systems, improved envelope insulation, and greatly increased envelope tightness through Aero Barrier air sealing. Additional healthy building measures were implemented including efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure as well as updated accessibility, improved fire, life and seismic safety, and advanced technology systems. In addition to minimizing the building’s impact on the environment, these elements work together to provide a comfortable and inviting environment with a truly communal sense of place.

View a fly-through video of the new library here.

View Project: Santa Catalina School High School Library Renovation

About Anderson Brulé Architects, Inc.

Since its founding in 1984, ABA has been committed to sustaining people and communities through architecture, interior design, and strategic planning that balances social, economic and environmental needs. The firm's portfolio spans projects in the community, educational, and healthcare sectors, and reflects the commitment of staff from offices in San Jose and Claremont to deliver enduring people-centered places imbued with purpose and meaning. To learn more, visit

About Santa Catalina School and Santa Catalina Lower & Middle School

Santa Catalina School and Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School are vibrant and intentional communities of learners. Santa Catalina School, an all-girls Upper School with a robust boarding and day program, serves grades nine through 12. Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School serves boys and girls in pre-k through grade eight. Since its founding in 1950, Santa Catalina has remained grounded in its mission to develop in each student a striving for excellence, a maturing awareness of moral and spiritual values, a sense of responsible purpose, and a determination to serve the world with courage, grace, and compassion. For more information, visit

Photography Credit: Pierre A Brulé


Rebecca Ellecamp / Melinda Hepp
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Posted March 20, 2023

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