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St Marys

St. Mary's of Providence

Geothermal heat pump solution keeps Pope
Francis' entourage comfortable during first US visit






Elverson, PA


Owner CapEX

Project Intesity


Annual Energy Savings



K. Scott Sine PE - H.T. Lyons

Engineer of Record

John Gable PE - H.T. Lyons

Lead Engineer

John Gable PE - H.T. Lyons

Prime HVAC Contractor

H.T. Lyons


In September 2015, Pope Francis was traveling to the US for his first time, to headline the first ever US hosted World Meeting of Families; the largest Roman Catholic Church gathering in the world. The only Catholic residence large enough to house His Holiness’s very large entourage was St. Mary’s of Providence Center; a nationally registered historic building with no air-conditioning and an antiquated heating system.

ENGIE MEP subsidiary H.T. Lyons was challenged with design / build responsibilities for a complex HVAC system requiring completion within a matter of months, and without altering the property’s historic appearance. GEMM founder K. Scott Sine PE (Scott) masterplanned a cost-effective geothermal heat pump solution that hid the devices in the basement, tucked new piping behind walls and concealed geothermal wells / source piping under the driveway.

H.T Lyons successfully fast-tracked this high-profile project to meet the unwavering deadline, affording the Pope’s entourage comfortable lodging during their first trip to America. Scott’s innovative masterplan was also built to a budget that saved 50% energy over a conventional HVAC system renovation. Further, the newly constructed air-conditioning system provides humidity control that greatly benefits the numerous antique wood finishes throughout the interior.

Located in the historic Potts Mansion, St. Mary of Providence Center functions as a retreat facility and provides housing for senior citizens. The Mansion was built in 1890 by Joseph Potts, great-great-grandson of industrialist John Potts, founder of Pottstown, PA.

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