Work has commenced on the $14 million construction and historic renovation project at the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy. The project involves the conversion of two century-old buildings and the creation of a new building for a state charter school.
The project is being led by Woodward Design+Build and HRI Properties. Woodward senior project manager Bob Lipscomb says the two existing buildings were originally constructed in 1907 by the Navy for its Naval Station in Algiers. The buildings originally served as administrative headquarters and a warehouse and have footprints of 16,000 sq-ft and 14,000 sq-ft.
Lipscomb says the project design calls for as much preservation of the build's original features as possible. Woodward will be leaving much of the exterior brick intact, repairing original windows and designing new windows to match the old ones.
"It's a complete gut, but we're going to leave as much interior brick exposed as possible to accommodate the design," says Lipscomb.
The two existing buildings are also being lifted 16 inches to meet the new building codes in the city of New Orleans. The new building has a 14,000-sq-ft footprint and will be designed to have a similar exterior appearance.
Woodward and HRI have been participating in the rehabilitation of many historic buildings in the city. Conversions have included retail establishments, multi-family housing units and hotels.
The project is expected to be completed by March 2014 and has a design and construction budget of $14 million. It is being funded through a variety of sources including Community Development Block Grants, historic tax credits and new market tax credits.