Project Challenge

Storm damage and flood waters from Hurricane Katrina forced the Corpus Christi School to close its doors in 2005. The 7th Ward landmark and community cornerstone, once bustling with hundreds of school children, sat dormant for more than a decade.

Determined to restore the facility to its rightful place as an anchor for the community, Rev. John Harfmann and the congregation of Corpus Christi-Epiphany Catholic Church set forth to revitalize the damaged building. Their goal manifested in the 7th Ward Community Center. The center will serve as a cornerstone of the community, offering meeting spaces for youth, adult, and senior programming, a computer lab, education and wellness services, and a gym/auditorium.

JELD-WEN was selected to provide windows for the endeavor, knowing this facility would need windows that not only match the classic aesthetic of the historic building, but were also durable enough to stand strong against the humid summers, driving rain and pounding winds that can hammer New Orleans every year.

Architectural Solution

Offering an unmatched combination of design customization and durability, JELD-WEN® Custom clad-windows were a perfect match for the needs of the 7th Ward Community Center. The new windows also needed to replicate the existing materials as closely as possible so a new exterior trim extrusion was fabricated to match.

The project features JELD-WEN® Custom clad-wood windows manufactured with AuraLast® which is vacuum-pressure treated to help protect solid pine wood all the way through to the core and backed by a lifetime limited warranty. With this added layer of protection against wood rot, termites and water saturation, the windows will help protect against the significant humidity and frequent rain showers that regularly occur in Louisiana.

It was also crucial to safeguard the building from windborne hazards that can come with the annual hurricane season. The JELD-WEN® Custom clad-wood windows include ImpactGard® protection which helps prevent damage from windborne debris and helps keep the building envelope intact during storms. Even if the glass cracks under impact, the fragments will adhere to an interlayer, minimizing the danger of falling or flying glass.

Finally, the 7th Ward Community Center needed windows that fit the historic look and feel of the 100-year-old building. The building featured a variety of architectural challenges. For example, the brick exterior of the building was hand-built by members of the community, which meant that many window openings were a unique size and shape. As a result, all windows needed to be custom-measured and -fitted to their distinct opening.

Handcrafted for unique designs, JELD-WEN® Custom clad-wood windows are available in a wide variety of wood, interior finishes, exterior cladding and paint colors.

“The 7th Ward Community Center is one of many projects that represent the perseverance and dedication of the Corpus Christi Epiphany Church Parish to the recovery of not only the 7th Ward, but the greater New Orleans area. It provides hope, stability and safety for all of our neighbors,” said Todd C. James, a Principal of Mathes Brierre Architects and a member of Corpus Christi Epiphany Church. “We love the fact that these JELD-WEN windows are not only built to last, they contribute greatly to the historic style of this landmark building. This is a place our community can be proud of for years to come.”

Design Features

The original 41 windows and a patio door were replaced with JELD-WEN Custom Wood Epic windows specially made to fit into the existing frames. The new windows are made with Low-E glass, environmentally friendly AuraLast Wood with a 20-year warranty against wood rot, water saturation and termite damage, and oil-rubbed bronze hardware to enhance classic styling. The result: seamlessly integrated design and reduced labor and material costs by saving existing frames and exterior trim.

Project details

  • 122 JELD-WEN® Custom clad-wood windows featuring ImpactGard® protection with impact glazing to meet Zone 3 wind requirements and AuraLast®
  • Custom exterior trim fabricated to match the original existing wood trim

Project team

  • Corpus Christi – Epiphany Catholic Church
  • Mathes Brierre Architects
  • Ryan Gootee Construction
  • JELD-WEN Architectural Services Group