Suffolk agrees to brick veneer at St. Margaret's

Just a week after an unapproved cinder block wall on the back of a new gymnasium at the Columbia Campus of the Pope John Paul II Academy (formerly known as St. Margaret's) brought neighbors on Roseclair Street to a boil, Suffolk Construction has agreed to attach a brick veneer to the greater portion of the wall and add metal sheathing to its upper portions. The details were hammered out in a McCormack Civic Association meeting on Tuesday.

In addition to the veneer and metal, two large glass brick columns will be added to give what the developers had considered the back of the school, the air of a second front. At several points during the meeting, Suffolk representatives told the crowd that any money to pay for the wall would come directly out of school programs, but the BRA's Prataap Pratose, director of urban design for the city, reminded them that the fault was not the neighborhood's but the developer's.

"That's why there is a process of permitting," said Pratose. "We try and react to the situations when a person does not follow it, we do need to keep that in mind."

According to Mark DiNapoli of Suffolk Construction, the gymnasium and cafeteria will still be completed on schedule.