VergesRome Architects | New Orleans Architectural Firm


Saint Joseph Seminary College’s enrollment has significantly increased in recent years, creating a demand for updated housing and academic upgrades. To accommodate this growth, Rouquette Library needed a new home to make possible the return of Savio Hall, where Rouquette Library once resided, to its original function as a student residence.

The site for the new library was carefully selected in a location that does not disrupt the current mid-century modern master plan of the campus, and places it in a location that visitors can access without compromising the private sectors of the campus. The site selected was the former swimming pool site.

The building was designed with three stories, with the ground floor used as exterior covered space for activities with easy access to other activities on the campus. The elevated structure not only reflects the elevated design of nearby Pius X Hall, but also offers protection for the seminary’s book collection in the event of flooding. The second floor houses the main collection with faculty resources for research, writing, and reading. The third floor provides collaborative student space along with two conference rooms for small lectures and meetings. The third floor will also house the library’s collection of bound serials and offer extended hours, until 10:00 p.m., each evening.

In addition, as the seminarians love the views of their campus, the new library design provides a nearly 360-degree panorama of the entire campus.

The John McDonogh School building is located at 2426 Esplanade Ave.  The main three-story, 92,000 SF school opened in the early 1900’s.  The solid masonry structure with decorative plaster trim began an extensive renovation in February of 2017.  The school is currently being renovated inside and out to serve as an Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Exterior renovations include a complete refurbishment of all exterior wood windows, tuckpointing of all mortar joints, installing new masonry ties to mitigate cracking of solid masonry walls, cleaning of masonry and installing a clear breathable water repellent.  All decorative plaster trim and cornices, including the plaster entrance façade, are being refurbished and painted.  The art glass windows at the front entrance are being refurbished to match the original art glass windows as closely as possible.

The ground floor was completely demolished and redesigned to create 14 Classrooms to accommodate Kindergarten through 3rd grade, as well as an Art Room, Offices and Conference Room.  Also located on the ground floor is a full-service kitchen.

Original classroom configurations were kept where possible on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The 2nd floor also contains administrative offices and a 450-seat Auditorium that has been refurbished to restore the original coffered ceilings.  The 3rd floor provides Classrooms, Media Center, Science Lab, Music and Art Rooms. Finishes throughout the Main Building have been replaced.

The existing Gymnasium has been demolished and replaced with a new state-of-the-art 22,000 SF Gymnasium and will accommodate new locker rooms, a Maker Lab and Health Lab.  The project will be LEED-Certified.

VergesRome Architects had the wonderful opportunity to assist Christian Brothers School with their new grade-school facility at Saint Anthony of Padua School on Canal Street. VRA worked with Ryan Gootee General Contractors and the key faculty of Christian Brothers’ City Park Campus to prioritize areas of the existing school that needed upgrades.  Renovations included new lighting, new window coverings, IT upgrades, playground equipment, auditorium renovation and parking / playground revamping.  The renovations unify the architectural and interiors connection between the City Park Campus and the new St. Anthony Padua Campus.