Our Lady of Mercy is nestled in an older, established Mid City neighborhood. The church and school are intertwined in many ways, but are physically disconnected. The Parish administration approached CPEX in search of a plan to utilize the parish’s existing property, integrate the church and school campuses, and provide opportunities for future growth.
A thorough analysis of the campus’ function revealed a number of issues to address, including disconnected parking, circulation, pedestrian safety, and over-crowded buildings. The campus has a number of great assets such as mature live oaks and unique architecture, as well as a large amount of underutilized property suitable for future development.
Given the campus's location situated between two major thoroughfares in historic Mid City Baton Rouge, the plan needed to be sensitive to the existing fabric of the neighborhood and build on the long, linear nature of the campus.
CPEX led a consultant team including Carbo Landscape Architects, Covalent Logic, and Stantec, who reviewed existing strategic and architectural plans and landscape designs, researched educational and religious campus trends, interviewed community stakeholders, and developed a campus vision to guide the planning endeavors. The result was a plan that improves safety, access, and cohesion around a central campus green, accommodates future church and school growth, and facilitates community gathering and learning. The final campus plan presents a vision for new and re-purposed facilities, open spaces, and vehicular and pedestrian circulation networks that provides guidance for growth and investment over the next 15-20 years.
The "Traditions for Tomorrow" plan was adopted in September, 2015. Thanks to the collaborative involvement of parish and school administration, staff, congregants, and parents, OLOM moved directly from planning into implementation. A capital campaign is now underway to raise funds to implement the plan's recommendations, including a new church office, new gym, conversion of the old gym to a performing arts center, and expansion of the lower school and playground.