Renovation Report: New Sacred Heart Classrooms, Global Education Center

Project: Transformation of the second floor of the east wing into a new center for global education and four new classrooms

Address: 4521 St. Charles Avenue

Owner: Sacred Heart Academy

Architect: Blitch Knevel Architects

General contractor : Ryan Gootee General Contractors

Space: 4,500 square feet

Cost: $5 million for all of phase 1

Start date: July 2021

Completion date: February 2022

Sacred Heart Academy has completed additional renovations to its Uptown campus.

Phase 1B of the Girls’ School Rosary Renewal Project ended just before Mardi Gras. He added four new classrooms averaging 450 square feet each and equipped them with the latest technology. A retractable wall between two of the classrooms can lift up and create a larger space where students can gather for presentations and discussions with guest speakers.

The workers moved a hallway along Jena Street which now faces the courtyard. New student lockers are recessed into the walls and give the renovated space more functionality, and new HVAC and electrical systems have been installed.

The highlight of this phase of the project is the 900 square foot Global Education Center. The space consists of a 136-inch “DigiWall” with Bluetooth capabilities that can project audio and images from any of ASH’s sister schools around the world. There are microphones built into the ceiling that can pick up a student speaking from anywhere in the room and send the crisp sound without delay to the person listening on the screen.

School principal Micheline Dutil said the space would house a special set of new and existing courses for students to navigate. Courses include world history, world geography, geopolitical conflicts, and learning about different cultures.

“It’s really about raising awareness of what it means to be a global citizen,” Dutil said. “It will allow them to learn more about what lies beyond Louisiana and the rest of the United States.”

Hurricane Ida caused some slight setbacks to the project. Dutil said the storm caused water to intrude through some of the older bricks in the building. Some roof shingles, shutters and doors were blown off and needed to be replaced, she said.

Dutil said supply chain issues led to delays in furniture and carpeting for the new space.

Phase 1A of the ASH renovation consisted of interior demolition and space fit-up. Phase 1C, which began on March 2, will include the renovation of several classrooms. Additional phases will include other wings of the school.