In partnership with VMDO Architects, a Facilities Master Plan was created to help Benjamin Franklin High School create an actionable plan towards their future goals for growth. Using an intensive engagement process, the strengths and weaknesses of the existing facilities were analyzed and multiple renovation and expansion recommendations were introduced. Input was gathered from students, faculty & staff, parents, and alumni via targeted workshops, interviews, and surveys.
A site analysis revealed that the unique placement of the school within the University of New Orleans campus is a key aspect of the school’s culture. Two students from Benjamin Franklin High served as interns as Preliminary Design Schemes were created. By participating in design charrettes, the students helped to imagine concepts for building additions and defined meaningful outdoor learning spaces. With an understanding of creating environments for this type of interdisciplinary learning, Trapolin-Peer and VMDO outlined potential phases of construction, executable over roughly a decade. Early phases describe how to make the best use of existing properties as well as address immediate remediation needs, while subsequent plans and their time-lines allow for population growth to a planned capacity of 1200 students.