As part of the Recovery School District’s ambitious plan to rebuild New Orleans schools, Trapolin-Peer Architects and VMDO Architects worked together as a joint venture to develop the design for the new George Washington Carver High School. The original George Washington Carver High School served the community for 53 years before closing its doors due to severe flood damage by Hurricane Katrina. The school was demolished to make way for a new academic and athletic campus to serve the Desire Neighborhood and the Upper Ninth Ward. The design team explored 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 230,000 square foot high school was designed as part of the first phase of the RSD’s master plan to remove a portion of the 1,000 students from temporary modular campuses and into state-of-the art facilities. While the scope of the project was 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 were intended as a place holder for the future fields and to reinforce the community’s passion for athletics and their competitive marching band.