St. James is a unique campus that has been a part of Baton Rouge’s downtown fabric for nearly three centuries. After completing a Strategic Plan in 2015, St. James Church and School approached CPEX to develop a plan that would celebrate St. James' history and traditions, while looking to the future.
The result is a plan that outlines the wise stewardship of real estate and financial resources to support St. James' programs and ministries, ensuring its viability as an urban church and school for many years to come.
CPEX set out to create a campus master plan that would support them in achieving the following goals:
Better utilize St. James' valuable downtown property.
Integrate and connect church and day school campuses.
Create income opportunities to support outreach and ministries.
The planning team operated with the understanding that all decisions made must benefit both the church and school, to engender long-lasting support and viability for St. James as a whole.
Furthermore, St. James' leadership challenged CPEX to investigate the market potential of the campus's physical assets, in order to leverage its unique location in the heart of downtown to maximize revenue which would support outreach and ministry activities.
The St. James campus master plan was driven by consensus-building and collaboration among St. James' parishioners, administration, staff, and parents, as well as a respect for St. James' culture, climate and place.
CPEX led a consultant team (including Associated Design Group, Carbo Landscape Architects, Maestri-Murrell, and WHLC Architects) who reviewed various existing plans that informed and influenced the Campus Master Plan. These included the 2015 Strategic Plan, enrollment data, national and local trends in the Episcopal Church, as well as existing conditions of the physical campus and mechanical systems to determine expansion capacity.
St. James' campus master plan provides a long-term vision to guide future growth and investment, create lasting value and ensure individual decisions are part of a larger framework supported by its members. It also establishes a framework for decision-making and development for next 15 to 20 years, providing the necessary space to grow the programs prioritized in the 2015 Strategic Plan.
The campus master plan was approved by the Vestry in November, 2016, and the St. James community has embarked on the next steps to begin implementation of the plan's recommendations, including conducting maintenance on the sanctuary, leasing unused office space, expanding the PK3 program, and updating classrooms.