In a joint venture with Trapolin Peer Architects of New Orleans, VMDO Architects is engaged in schematic design for a replacement high school for the Recovery School District (RSD). The original George Washington Carver High School that served the community for 53 years before closing its doors after Hurricane Katrina will be demolished to make way for a new school and athletic campus to serve the community of the Desire Neighborhood of the Upper 9th Ward. The design team is pursuing strategies to strengthen the pursuit of a “community school” with strong ties to the neighborhood fabric, diverse culture, and acknowledgment for the arts and innovation.

The new George Washington Carver High School will be designed and constructed as part of the first phase of the RSD’s master plan to remove a portion of the 7,000 students from temporary modular campuses and into new facilities.

The RSD programmed the new high school to operate as either two independent 450-student schools or a single unified school. Campus planning takes advantage of the 81-acre site surrounded on two sides by sparsely occupied single family houses, a well-traveled divided neighborhood boulevard on the south, and a high speed interstate and industrial edge to the north.

In a joint venture with Trapolin Peer Architects of New Orleans, VMDO Architects is engaged in schematic design for a replacement high school for the Recovery School District (RSD). The original George Washington Carver High School that served the community for 53 years before closing its doors after Hurricane Katrina will be demolished to make way for a new school and athletic campus to serve the community of the Desire Neighborhood of the Upper 9th Ward. The design team is pursuing strategies to strengthen the pursuit of a “community school” with strong ties to the neighborhood fabric, diverse culture, and acknowledgment for the arts and innovation.

The new George Washington Carver High School will be designed and constructed as part of the first phase of the RSD’s master plan to remove a portion of the 7,000 students from temporary modular campuses and into new facilities.

The RSD programmed the new high school to operate as either two independent 450-student schools or a single unified school. Campus planning takes advantage of the 81-acre site surrounded on two sides by sparsely occupied single family houses, a well-traveled divided neighborhood boulevard on the south, and a high speed interstate and industrial edge to the north.

Siting for the proposed school building addresses urban school challenges – such as limiting pedestrian and vehicular access points, establishing secure entry points, and accommodating day and night community use.

Siting for the proposed school building addresses urban school challenges – such as limiting pedestrian and vehicular access points, establishing secure entry points, and accommodating day and night community use. While the scope of the project is limited to the school building, parking and service access, design of the facility massing, and site planning strategies set the stage for a future athletic campus – “The Field of Dreams.” Placements of the gymnasium and fitness center set a place holder for the future fields and reinforce the community’s passion for athletics and their competitive marching band.

A Student Union concept will be pursued wherein a combination of student social space, access to retail food options, and accessible student services and guidance reinforces the way students feel connected to a school and enhances their sense of belonging. Advisor / Advisee programs also create a culture of connection with adult mentors through positive behavior support programs.

The school building and program will demonstrate the community’s commitment to the principles of sustainability with an integrated design approach to optimal environmental performance, satisfying and healthy learning spaces, and efficient systems with reduced energy consumption.

Siting for the proposed school building addresses urban school challenges – such as limiting pedestrian and vehicular access points, establishing secure entry points, and accommodating day and night community use. While the scope of the project is limited to the school building, parking and service access, design of the facility massing, and site planning strategies set the stage for a future athletic campus – “The Field of Dreams.” Placements of the gymnasium and fitness center set a place holder for the future fields and reinforce the community’s passion for athletics and their competitive marching band.

A Student Union concept will be pursued wherein a combination of student social space, access to retail food options, and accessible student services and guidance reinforces the way students feel connected to a school and enhances their sense of belonging. Advisor / Advisee programs also create a culture of connection with adult mentors through positive behavior support programs.

The school building and program will demonstrate the community’s commitment to the principles of sustainability with an integrated design approach to optimal environmental performance, satisfying and healthy learning spaces, and efficient systems with reduced energy consumption.

Siting for the proposed school building addresses urban school challenges – such as limiting pedestrian and vehicular access points, establishing secure entry points, and accommodating day and night community use.
Siting for the proposed school building addresses urban school challenges – such as limiting pedestrian and vehicular access points, establishing secure entry points, and accommodating day and night community use.
Siting for the proposed school building addresses urban school challenges – such as limiting pedestrian and vehicular access points, establishing secure entry points, and accommodating day and night community use.

Client: New Orleans Recovery School District

Location: New Orleans, LA

Discipline: Middle & High Schools

Completion: 2011

Size: 230,000 SF