Although the school sits in the Lower Garden District neighborhood, it does not need the approval of the city’s Historic District Landmarks Commission to install the temporary classrooms, officials have said. But the school must still appear in a public hearing before the HDLC before it can receive a building permit to begin the installation, said Head of Schools Sean Wilson, and the school’s plan is not on the HDLC agenda until July 18.
“We have to go through that process,” board chair Andrew Yon said during Wednesday’s meeting of the school board.
Even under a best-case scenario in which the school receives a building permit immediately following that hearing — which there is no guarantee of, either, board members noted — the modular classrooms will take three days for delivery, followed by at least four weeks to install them, Wilson said. And that schedule is dependent on the cooperation of the New Orleans weather in August, hardly a reliable ally.
Realistically, the school cannot expect to have the use of the modular classrooms until September, well after the mid-August start of school, Wilson said. With no other options nearby on such short notice, the eight middle-grade classes slated to move into the modulars will likely have to be housed at the Olivier Street on the Westbank during that time, Wilson said.
Among other issues at Wednesday’s meeting were the final approval of the school’s budget, concerns about the OneApp enrollment system, plans for this year’s Head of Schools assessment, and a changing of the gavel as Matt Amoss was chosen to succeed Yon as president of the school’s governing board. See below for live coverage of the meeting.