Schooley Caldwell’s design preserved all the historic elegance and significance of the building, while at the same time allowing it to evolve into a modern educational facility equipped with cutting-edge technology.
— James Foley, President, Cristo Rey High School

Schooley Caldwell designed the $18 million transformation of the Old Ohio School for the Deaf into the new home for Cristo Rey Columbus High School, a Catholic college preparatory school serving disadvantaged students.

Built in 1898 and located adjacent to the city’s acclaimed Topiary Park and the historic Main Library, the Deaf School served Ohio’s hearing-impaired children from 1898 until the 1950s, when new quarters were built elsewhere. The 88,000 SF building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the project was awarded historic preservation tax credits.

The biggest design challenge that our team faced was incorporating all the modern technology and amenities required by a 21st century school into an older building not originally designed to accommodate them. The building now functions as a typical high school, but with beautifully restored historic elements and uncommon character.


  • Finalist for the 2016 and 2014 James B. Recchie Award honoring excellence in urban design

  • 2015 Palladio Award, Traditional Building Magazine

  • 2015 Historic School of the Year Award from Heritage Ohio

  • 2015 State Historic Preservation OfficeAward

  • 2015 J. Timothy Anderson Award for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation, Best Historic Rehab Utilizing New Markets Tax Credits category

  • “Preservation’s Best of 2015” from National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation

  • 2014 Harrison Smith Award, Columbus Downtown Corporation



Cristo Rey High School

Corna Kokosing

Kabil Associates, Inc.
Michael Kannard Landscape Architecture


400 East Town Street
Columbus, OH 43215