Projects / Historic

Sherman School Renovation

St. Louis, Missouri

Brian Minges, of Advantes Group, plans to redo Sherman School, a Shaw neighborhood landmark since 1898, as 38 loft-style apartments. Six will be two-level units built inside Sherman’s gym. The $5.2 million renovation will begin in February and take 14-16 months for construction.

Like many St. Louis public schools, Sherman is a design of renowned St. Louis architect William Ittner. His designs, noted for intricate brickwork and light-filled classrooms, became a model of school architecture nationwide.

At Sherman, Minges is using some tricks he picked up renovating Lafayette School, built in 1906 to an Ittner design. For example, he will use the schools’ ventilation shafts to run wiring and pipes to apartments. Cloakrooms will become closets and bathrooms. In many instances, built-in oak bookcases will be preserved as a feature in the one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Mark Gettemeyer, principal of M2 Architecture Studio of St. Louis, said the school laid out well as one-per-classroom apartments. “One thing about schools is that there aren’t many walls in the way.”  Classrooms’ maple floors will be sanded and refinished. Travertine hallway floors hidden now beneath linoleum tiles will be restored. Oak doors will be removed and refurbished, then returned to their original locations.

Projected market-rate rents for The Sherman Lofts are $850 for one-bedroom apartments and up to $1,355 for two-bedroom units. Residents’ parking will be next to the gym and on the former playground.  Historic preservation tax credits are planned as part of the project’s financing. Sherman’s exterior appearance will remain unchanged except for the gym, which will get two rows of windows.

Original article appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – by Tim Bryant   January 14, 2016