A campus that consisted of the shuttered St. Rose de Lima Church and two brick-and-wood school buildings ruined by Hurricane Katrina is now a venue that supports New Orleans’s cultural arts and education sector.
The church is now home to the Southern Rep Theatre, an award-winning regional troupe. The larger of the remaining buildings is now the Waldorf School, a pre-K through 8th grade private school. The smaller building was repurposed as office space.
Retrofitting the church necessitated the construction of a building within a building to accommodate a new 120-seat theater box and other accoutrements. There were stringent requirements regarding plywood types and drywall layers. All penetrations had to be caulked. Creativity was needed to install ductwork and new sprinkler, plumbing, and electrical systems.
The project team also had to address extensive termite damage in the church, which was built in 1915. Where possible, the team preserved the buildings’ historical and architectural elements.
BUILDING TEAM Ryan Gootee General Contractors (submitting firm, GC) Bayou Treme Center (owner/developer) METROstudio (lead designer) Linfield, Hunter & Junius (SE) APEX Engineering Corp. (MEP) DETAILS 78,000 sf Total cost $7.6 million Construction time July 2017 to June 2018 Delivery method Design-assist