BASIS Baton Rouge
Located on seven acres of the Woman’s Hospital Baton Rouge Campus, the BASIS (short for Building Academic Success in School) charter school is designed to educate kindergarten through eighth grade students. BASIS is one of the nation’s top-performing public charter school networks and required a facility that would reflect the organization’s high level of instruction and commitment to excellence. In response, Grace Hebert Curtis Architects worked with school leaders to develop a compact yet innovative 40,000-square-foot design.
The building supports a rigorous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program as well as more traditional teaching methodologies via smaller-scale classrooms. It also includes multipurpose spaces designed to receive an abundance of natural light and a black box theater that opens up to a full-size gymnasium. A large outdoor covered play area ensures students can enjoy activity and socialization year-round regardless of weather conditions.
Grace Hebert Curtis Architects was also intentional in giving the school, which is BASIS’ first location in Louisiana, a local character. While the Arizona-based charter network generally adheres to a more desert-inspired color and material palette, adopting a traditional brick exterior with vivid green accents complements the lush Louisiana landscape while still reflecting the BASIS brand.
Project Size: 40,000 q. ft.
Future Growth and Community Needs
As the school will eventually anchor a new neighborhood development, the Grace Hebert Curtis Architects design team planned the structure and site to accommodate future growth and community needs.
Teaching With Design
Instead of traditional vinyl composition tile floors and acoustical ceiling tiles, the school offers students a lesson in architecture and construction. Mechanical systems, cabling and duct work were strategically left exposed, and polished concrete floors make the spaces feel larger and more open.
As BASIS students move to different classrooms and learning spaces each period to increase engagement, the school was designed for maximum efficiency.
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