VergesRome Architects | New Orleans

Lake Area High School

The Gentilly site for one of the Recovery School District’s first high schools built post-Katrina was the location of a middle school destroyed by 8-foot floodwaters. The compact 4.11-acre parcel presented challenges in site planning due to height restrictions and deep (50’) setbacks. The final design resolved parking requirements and employed a mitigation strategy by situating two floors of the school directly over a ground floor parking area. The school was built at a cost of $36.5 Million following a successful six-month fast-track design process. The 174,000SF school, opened to students in January 2010, achieved LEED® Silver Certification for its sustainable, energy-efficient design and construction.

The floor plan consists of two zones separated by a common area with atrium. Natural daylighting is used in the majority of spaces within the school. A flexible floor plan with retractable walls and highly functional classrooms and laboratories will readily accommodate future changes in curriculum and instructional approaches. To meet current and future technology demands, every student desk is equipped with a computer.