Sep 092011

An architect's rendering of the Pine Street view of the rear of the Audubon Charter School expansion.

With plans finalized for a mid-winter move to a temporary location in Gentilly, Audubon Charter School is now moving forward with preparations for renovations to its Broadway campus. Continue reading »

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Aug 202011

Audubon Charter School's Carrollton campus. (Photo by Alysha Jordan,

After publicly pleading for emergency structural repairs last month following years, Audubon and Lusher charter schools now appear to be among a handful of schools slated for work to prevent further deterioration at their campuses.

The Orleans Parish School Board decided this week to fund “stabilization” at seven school sites, including Audubon’s Carrollton campus, Audubon assistant principal Dawn Collins told the charter school’s governing board at a Saturday morning meeting to applause and cheers from the board and the small audience. Continue reading »

Jul 212011

The St. James Major campus in Gentilly, currently occupied by Hynes Charter School. (Robert Morris,

Many Audubon Charter School parents and teachers see the St. James Major campus in Gentilly as an attractive option for a temporary campus after Hynes Charter School moves out of it during the winter break, they told school officials after hearing about four new options at a Thursday afternoon meeting.

Before the school can begin a two-year renovation of its Broadway campus, it must find an interim location for the students who are already there, and the urgency of the search has increased since a site in the Lower Garden District was deemed unacceptable earlier this summer. The Orleans Parish School Board has asked Audubon to have an answer by Aug. 1, little more than a week away. Continue reading »

Jul 202011

A panoramic shot of the Jean Gordon site near Lake Terrace, one of two options for Audubon Charter's temporary campus. (via the "Audubon Kids in Swing Space" blog)

After the Orleans Parish School Board offered Audubon Charter School two new options for a temporary campus, the school has scheduled a meeting with parents and teachers Thursday to discuss those plans. Continue reading »

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Jul 182011

Audubon Charter School's Carrollton campus needs substantial renovations but is not scheduled for any work, one of several points in the school-facilities master plan that drew criticism Monday night. (Photo by Alysha Jordan,

Which Uptown New Orleans school buildings need attention the most and how to divide the money for building and renovating them was debated by motivated and skeptical crowd of nearly 200 public-education supporters Monday night.

City and state school officials are seeking public comment on the latest master plan for spending a nearly $2 billion payment from FEMA to rebuild New Orleans schools, and Monday night’s meeting focused on buildings in the Orleans Parish School Board’s Uptown- and Carrolton-based District 6. Supporters of the various schools showed their allegience in T-shirts and signs, and during a somewhat free-form input session inundated officials with their opinions. Continue reading »

Jul 182011

Uptown-based Orleans Parish School Board districts 5 and 6

Supporters of moving Johnson Elementary to the old Priestley site will make their case to state and parish school officials Monday night at a public hearing on school plans in School Board District 6, which includes the Carrollton, Audubon and university neighborhoods in Uptown New Orleans.

School officials have said these meetings will be a crucial part of the process of dividing a $2 billion FEMA settlement to rebuild schools across the city. After public hearings have been held in each school board district, officials have said they will create a final draft of the plan based on the comments they receive. Continue reading »

Jul 152011

Audubon Charter School's Broadway campus.

Audubon Charter School has two new options for a temporary campus during a planned two-year renovation of its Broadway building — modular buildings in a parking lot behind the school board offices in Algiers or the site of the former Jean Gordon school near the University of New Orleans campus — but a deadline is looming in about two weeks for a decision, officials said. Continue reading »

Jun 182011

A rendering of the proposed expansion of Audubon Charter School's Broadway campus.

If Audubon Charter School cannot find an 11th-hour location for a temporary campus this summer, it may lose the opportunity to renovate its cramped building on Broadway altogether, officials said Saturday to a group of parents who say they still feel disenfranchised by the entire process.

“Do you have a location that could house the swing space?” Orleans Parish School Board president Lourdes Moran asked a group of about 20 parents at the monthly meeting of Audubon Charter School’s governing board. “Because if not, this project will be put on hold indefinitely until this space is found.” Continue reading »

Jun 172011

Audubon Charter School's Broadway campus.

With a Lower Garden District site deemed unacceptably contaminated by lead, Audubon Charter School will continue searching over the summer for a temporary location that will allow renovations at its Broadway campus can proceed as planned last year, officials said. Continue reading »

Jun 152011

High lead levels in the soil shown in this image lead state officials to deem the Audubon Charter School's plan for a temporary campus unacceptable. (Click to see the full report.)

Audubon Charter School has indefinitely postponed the renovations of its Broadway Street campus after its plan to use a lead-saturated site in the Lower Garden District for a temporary campus was deemed “unacceptable” by state officials, the school announced late Wednesday. Continue reading »

May 262011

This image shows the lead concentration levels in the soil on the proposed playground area of the Audubon Charter temporary campus. (Click to see the full report.)

Lead levels in the soil at the proposed temporary site of Audubon Charter School are the highest one scientist has ever seen in New Orleans, but he assured a cafeteria packed with concerned, angry and sometimes unconvinced parents Thursday night that the remediation techniques he suggests will make the campus safe.

“This is the highest lead I’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Paul Lo, a certified lead inspector and lead risk assessor with Materials Management Group Inc., who has headed recent remediation efforts at playgrounds around the city. “But your children are not going to play on the existing conditions, and that’s a fact.” Continue reading »

May 242011

This image shows the lead concentration levels in the soil on the proposed playground area of the Audubon Charter temporary campus. (Click to see the full report.)

The site proposed for Audubon’s temporary campus has lead contamination in the soil of the playground area exceeding federal standards by 10 times or more, prompting some parents to insist the entire site have the lead removed before their children arrive next fall. Continue reading »