The slow pace of repairs to the McDonogh 7 “swing space” campus on Milan Street suggests that families at Audubon Charter School’s Carrollton campus should not count on being able to leave their decrepit building by December, school official said Saturday morning.
“They are determined that they want us to move,” said operations manager Alisa Dupre. “But when I asked if we’ll be able to move in in December, the response was, ‘We’ll let you know in November.’”
After years of worsening roof leaks on the main building and deteriorating portable buildings at the Carrollton campus, Audubon families were cautiously enthusiastic last year about the proposed move to McDonogh 7. Their skepticism was justified, however, at the end of the year when Orleans Parish School Board officials informed Audubon that the discovery of lead paint inside the building would delay the move until shortly after the start of the current school year, possibly during fall break or Thanksgiving.
Now, the timelime is creeping further backwards, said board member Eva Alito, who has been in weekly communication with the OPSB about the renovation process. The OPSB wiil receive bids in the coming week to do the lead abatement, and is still planning how best to correct termite damage. The OPSB is also going to conduct an asbestos test that has never been done, and is expected next week to approve the contract for portable buildings at the site, Alito said.
While progress is being made on a growing list of tasks, Alito said there is “no guarantee” that McDonogh 7 will be ready by December.
In the meantime, the OPSB has approved a $136,200 contract for roof repairs at the Carrollton campus, according to school board documents. Most of the work is being done outside of school hours — workers were on the roof during Saturday’s meeting, for example — and the repairs that are being done have not been very distracting, school officials said.
Some of the roof leaks appeared during Hurricane Isaac almost a year ago, while others are much older. During this week’s hard rains, school employees were mopping up water in all the usual places inside the main building, Dupre said. But because the majority of the roof repairs started on the portable buildings, they remained refreshingly dry this week, she said.
“It actually did not rain in them last week,” Dupre said.
The roof work is expected to continue for another week or so, Dupre said.
Meanwhile, the major renovations to the Broadway campus remain on track to be finished by spring of 2014, officials say. It is possible, Dupre said, that Audubon will make two moves next summer — from Carrollton to Milan Street, and from Gentilly back to Broadway.
Only three of Audubon’s board members showed up Saturday, so the meeting was held without a quorum. No votes were taken, and the officials gave their reports for information only. To read our live coverage, see below.