Audubon Charter School leaders will meet this week with Orleans Parish School Board officials to discuss the possibility of moving Audubon’s upper grade students from the Carrollton courthouse location into the McDonogh No. 7 building on Milan Street in the Touro neighborhood, they said Saturday.
The McDonogh 7 building last year housed Crocker Arts and Technology School, until Crocker moved to its new building on Marengo Street this fall. Meanwhile, the leaking roof and other problems at Audubon’s Carrollton campus have only continued to worsen, especially after Hurricane Isaac, and more repairs are planned over the Christmas holidays.
On Monday, Audubon leaders will meet with Kathleen Padian, deputy superintendent for the Orleans Parish School Board, to discuss the McDonogh 7 building, said Audubon operations manager Alisa Dupre and Audubon board chair Cornelius Tilton on Saturday.
When Crocker left the building, it had about 225 students enrolled. Audubon’s Carrollton campus currently has 367 students, but more than half of those are in the 14 modular classrooms outside. Modulars would thus be needed at McDonogh 7, but perhaps for fewer students.
“We would be leaving one campus with modular buildings to another campus with modular buildings,” said Audubon principal Janice Dupuy.
The need for modulars at McDonogh 7 raises the issue of outdoor playspace, Dupre said, because the McDonogh 7 site appears to have less land. Audubon currently splits its playspace into a playground one side of campus and a basketball courts on the other, she said, giving students ample space to practice for the team sports that have earned banners lining the hallways.
“We would be getting some kids out of modulars, but I think we might sacrifice some programming,” Dupre said.
The move also raises another concern, Audubon leaders said. The Carrollton campus was always considered a “temporary” building, but Audubon has been there for years. The McDonogh 7 site would also be “temporary,” but district leaders are no closer to an answer on what would be the permanent solution.
For that reason, school leaders say, it is important to keep their claim on the Allen building, even though it may not be available for many years.
To read live coverage of the meeting, see below.
Note: Our live coverage of this meeting was published at 10 a.m., and the article was updated at 2:45 p.m. with additional information about McDonogh 7.