Part of the overhaul of New Orleans public schools post-Katrina, this historic E.A. Christy-designed building in the Uptown neighborhood was renovated for a charter school for the State of Louisiana Department of Education’s Recovery School District. Certified LEED Silver, the three-story structure was completely renovated and includes a new 20,000 square foot gymnasium addition. Along with renovated classrooms and teaching spaces, the school also houses administrative offices, a cafeteria, and a media center. The sensitive and complex renovation respects and preserves the historic architecture while bringing it into the 21st century. Exterior windows and doors, as well as brick and cast stone, were cleaned and repaired. For energy efficiency, the roof was replaced along with the HVAC system, plumbing, and lighting. The original corridors and light courts outside the auditorium were preserved, and existing interior woodwork made of cypress was restored.
With a careful and sensitive renovation, the school now has a brighter and more welcoming entrance, upgraded technology systems, and new spaces for meeting and performing. The gymnasium addition the rear of the building created an opportunity to improve parking and service access. The original auditorium, the heart of the historic school, has been transformed into an open, light-filled performance center with modern lighting and technology, while also highlighting original architectural features. This flexible space can accommodate a range of performances and events on stage. Today, the school enters its second century as an energy efficient building that supports an open, modern place for learning.