Located in Natchitoches, LA, the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) is a premier residential high school for students in 10-12th grades. Regarded as one of the nation’s best boarding schools, the public school welcomes students from across the state, who travel from their hometowns to the school for an immersive educational experience while living on campus. To maximize their opportunities for intellectual and personal growth, LSMSA prepares students for success through a rigorous curriculum, mentor program, and a highly supportive environment that is uniquely available in a residential setting. For over 35 years, they used buildings on Northwestern State University’s campus for housing. Creating their own on-campus residences was a long-awaited goal, and in the fall semester of 2021, they opened the Living Learning Commons, which houses 360 students and the student life staff.
A joint venture between Ashe Broussard Weinzettle Architects and Tipton Associates, the two firms designed the Living Learning Commons to drive connection through open and shared spaces. The four-story building is organized into 10 “neighborhoods,” which encourages engagement at a more personal level. Each neighborhood features nine four-person suites, a hall commons for students to gather, a quiet study lounge, and laundry facilities, along with an office and residence for the Student Life Adviser. Since each dorm room sleeps two students, it was important that the furniture selected was compact, efficient with space and could be modified to fit the students’ needs. Each has a lofted bed with a desk and storage underneath. For more social gatherings, the common areas inlcude a variety of seating options for doing school work, hanging out or dining. Additionally, the Living Learning Commons also has a covered porch, student lounge for games and crafts, demonstration kitchen, nurse suite and staff offices.
The state-of-the-art residence hall is set to become a dynamic and transformative space within LSMSA’s campus that enhances the overall student experience. Through a series of inviting gathering spaces, formal and informal meeting areas, and on-campus housing, the Living Learning Commons supports academic pursuits while providing a supportive home and community environment.
111,500 SQ FT
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