William Guste Elem School

Project Description

Client:  Recovery School District –Louisiana Department of Education
Location:   2601 Gentilly Blvd. – New Orleans, LA 70122
Building Area: 85,000 square feet
Year Completed:   2008
Value: $11,732,000
Architect:   N-Y Associates, Inc./Jacobs-CSRS

This project consisted of the demolition, gutting and reconstruction of the entire first floor of the school which was completely flooded by Hurricane Katrina as well as miscellaneous repairs to the 2nd and 3rd floors and the site.

The Challenges

Guste Elementary School was severely vandalized and all copper wiring, electrical feeds, plumbing and other elements were stripped from the flooded facility while it was dormant. The project required installation of an entirely new electrical service, new mechanical and plumbing systems, the installation of an entirely new Cafeteria Kitchen, and upgrades to the Cafetorium. Renovation of the upper floors was required, and work included abatement and mold treatment, as well as new sprinkler and fire alarm systems, a new entrance canopy, and courtyard and roof repairs.

The challenge of putting this needed facility back into operation for the start of the school year while incorporating the partial systems remaining as well as installing improvements, required a team effort with the Owner, Architect, and Building Code Officials in order to provide a safe and suitable learning environment for the students of this inner city neighborhood.

The work included interior demolition of all interior partitions, plumbing, electrical and hazardous materials down to the original 1894 construction and 1914 addition. Besides repairs to all interior and exterior finishes, including a new kitchen and cafeteria, CMI repaired/restored all interior window stools, sills aprons, and frames to match existing historical Beaux Arts elements. CMI repaired all existing doors, frames, baseboards, cabinetry, as well as balustrades and millwork on all stairs to maintain the historic fabric of the building. New impact resistant windows were installed throughout the facility in existing wood openings in accordance with the guidelines of the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office and FEMA requirements. Construction Masters, Inc. was proud to put this school back in use in time for the 2007 school year which was among the first flooded public schools to be reoccupied after hurricane Katrina.