The Project is the result of R. Omar Casimire’s experience in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the blistering impact it had on the citizens of the City of New Orleans and generally throughout the Gulf Coast Region. Omar’s firsthand experience prompted him to create a full documentation of the events caused by Katrina and how those individuals trapped at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in the city, coped with the devastation and the lost each were encountering.
This Project is two-fold in its mission to honor the lives lost and to create an exhibition facility, the Katrina Memorial Museum. The museum will function as an education endeavor to teach local residents and students about the catastrophic elements that can be caused by major hurricanes. It will also serve as an additional tourist component that can be informative to visitors of the city and allow a better understanding of some of the weather challenges this region is confronted with on an annual basis. Ongoing educational programs will offer opportunities for the local and surrounding school districts to participate; educating students about hurricane related weather and how, as a region we might manage huge influx of water more strategically.
Our Katrina Memorial Museum (see rendering below) will be constructed with state-of-the-art technology “green building design” and utilize that aspect of the facility as a learning tool, demonstrating the benefits of “green and sustainable” building implementation as a positive impact on the environment. The preliminary design includes a four to six story LEED certified building; site location is still under consideration. The Katrina Memorial Museum is designed to contain multiple areas within the site and will function as an ongoing educational center, social culture development via the Arts, mentoring and apprenticeships programs in Arts Education, Meteorology, and Green-Building design/construction. Designated areas of the facility will be designed as public spaces with an art gallery, food court, auditorium, and space for private rental use. Potential tenant consideration is the National Oceanographic Association. Such a tenant would occupy the top floor with exhibits and relative data that would be of educational interest to visitors of the Museum.
Although there is a long history of hurricane and storm activity in this region, there is very little or no ongoing organized approaches to educate citizens in an effort to better prepare them for devastating impacts caused by hurricanes. Our project will be the first of its kind locally, to specifically target residents and students with enlightening and informative data that could be the difference in saving one’s life, versus being tragically unprepared, resulting in catastrophic results for an individual, a family, or an entire community.
At its completion this facility has the potential to become an International Destination benefiting all those who have the opportunity to visit the exhibits and elect to participate in one of the many educational programs. This project has the framework to position itself as a beacon of New Orleans and as far reaching as the South Eastern hurricane-prone region of the United States.