The invention of gunpowder was an accident. So was plastic. Viagra too. The reinvention of Freret similarly so. Despite decades of best efforts of local government, administration pledges, and the citizenry alike and at large, Freret couldn’t get any measurable play until after Katrina. But to be clear, no one thing has made Freret what it is today. It has taken a village, um, of events, so to speak. But let’s start with the birth of the Freret Street Boxing Gym, established seven years ago. At the time, Freret’s business offerings were basically tattoos, red beans and hardware. Today, as it has been for decades upon decades, the hardware store is still there. But not the tattoos. And not the red beans, either. And, as of the last month, the gym has moved as well — to O.C. Haley Boulevard.
With a new playground set to open Monday on the Willow Street campus, Lusher Charter School officials are turning their attention to the next project: a lunch terrace for middle and high school students at the Fortier building on Freret Street.
The budget for repairs to major structural issues at Lusher Charter School’s two campuses has been reduced by more than $7 million from what was originally planned, based on an Orleans Parish School Board vote on Tuesday, leaving officials wondering how the cuts will affect the scope of the renovations.
Editor’s note: We had originally intended to do a listing of “most popular” posts on UptownMessenger.com in 2011, but in the process decided that a focus on the most important stories of the year in Uptown New Orleans would be more substantive. What follows is our assessment of the stories we’ve covered over the past year that continue to matter the most, with some commentary explaining our thinking. And, for anyone curious, those “most popular” posts are included at bottom as well. Thank you to everyone who read us in 2011, and we look forward to another year.
Lusher Charter School is at the forefront of the effort to develop new educational standards that will be implemented in public schools across the country over the next three years, officials said.
“It’s the largest movement that has come to schools since No Child Left Behind,” said Patty Glaser, the assistant Head of School at Lusher Charter School, introducing the concept during a meeting of the school’s governing board Saturday.
Motorists on Lowerline Street no longer have to suffer sickening scrapes along the bottom of their cars, now that the infamous “Lusher Lump” has been flattened out after neighbors’ concerns were aired on UptownMessenger.com and in an Action Report with our partners at WWL-TV.
A raised chunk of concrete on Lowerline Street, scarred and streaked across the top where its scrapes the bottoms of passing cars every day, has earned the nickname the “Lusher hump” from the neighborhood leaders imploring the city to fix it.
KIPP Believe College Prep on South Carrollton is headed to a new school building in Gentilly, and Benjamin Banneker Elementary in the Riverbend is slated for a new campus in Hollygrove, according to school assignment plans being aired publicly by the Recovery School District this week.
After a donation of exercise equipment to the team from the Brees Foundation, the Saints quarterback and ardent Lusher supporter stopped by the school for a training session, our partners at WWL-TV reported.
The Brees Foundation previously donated the Lusher High School football field, and last year Brees made a personal visit to encourage the team ahead of their first-ever trip to the state playoffs.
Lusher Charter School will continue reserving space for children of Tulane University employees and Tulane will continue providing free classes for Lusher high school students for the next five years, based on an agreement pending between the two institutions.
A new allocation of federal school-construction money around Orleans Parish that includes a number of Uptown charters left out of previous plans drew praise from the Lusher Charter School board on Wednesday, and high hopes that this plan will be the last one.
Both campuses of Lusher Charter School, “Baby Ben” Franklin Elementary and the International School of Louisiana’s Camp Street campus are all newly slated for renovations under the latest plan to spend the remainder of a $2 billion FEMA payout for school repairs, and Johnson Elementary will have a renewed shot at moving to the Priestly site.
A majority of Uptown public schools continued the improvement that has characterized New Orleans schools in recent years, with Lusher and Audubon charter schools both earning “A” grades and New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School improving its score by more than 30 percent.
Uptown New Orleans has a relatively strong selection of campuses deemed “honor roll” schools by the state, those earning an A or B based on 2011 school performance scores released Wednesday. The lower-performing schools fall roughly into two categories: one group striving upward at varying rates, and similar-sized group continuing to struggle.