$2.3 million renovation suggested for Audubon Charter’s Carrollton campus

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The fifth grade class of Audubon Charter School held a garage-sale fundraiser at their Carrollton campus, which is now line for a $2.2 million renovation. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The Orleans Parish School Board’s operations team is recommending $2.3 million in renovations to Audubon Charter School’s Carrollton campus, officials said Saturday.

The school board had previously allocated several million dollars for emergency stabilization projects to seven of its campuses. At a recent Orleans Parish School Board committee meeting, the board’s director of operations recommended $2.3 million for Audubon, principal Janice Dupuy said at Audubon’s board meeting Saturday morning.

The decision still requires a final vote from the Orleans Parish School Board, but Dupuy said she is optimistic.

“We have no reason to believe it’s not going to happen,” Dupuy said. “I’m just happy in the moment. Two million dollars? That’s wonderful.”

Dupuy said she has requested a list of specific repairs planned for the building, but has yet to receive specifics. Among the old Carrollton courthouse’s problems are restrooms in need of repairs, termite damage, and water intrusion through leaks in the windows and other places.

“when it rains we always get some water, and sometimes in new places,” Dupuy said.

The Audubon school board has also promised parents renovations at the Carrollton campus. After the Orleans Parish School Board discloses the scope of its project, Audubon officials will re-evaluate whether additional work needs to be done, Dupuy said.

“We know that this building is in need of many repairs,” Dupuy said. “Those things that they don’t do, we’ll maybe be able to focus on.”

The board also discussed the move to the temporary Gentilly campus and the status of renovations at Broadway. To read our live coverage of the meeting, click “Replay” in the box below.

17 thoughts on “$2.3 million renovation suggested for Audubon Charter’s Carrollton campus

  1. Great news. My daughter is the second generation to attend Audubon and it is great to see how this school has moved forward through the years.

  2. Amazing news. My daughter will be moving to the Carrollton campus next year (from Broadway/Gentilly). This school is amazing and it deserves all the help it can get.

  3. So I guess this means the building won’t be landbanked as previously proposed? I think it’s great news that it will continue to be used as a school. I heard that Lusher got the Allen building (now Math and Science) on Nashvillle and was wondering about that, b/c I know that Audubon has asked for it first. I guess they got it b/c Audubon is staying.

    • When did Lusher get awarded the Allen building???
      You’re correct, Audubon was the first to request it. The status of the courthouse has not changed.

      • I heard from some Lusher parents that I know that Lusher is supposed to get the Allen building since they’re out of space for the kindergarten- 2nd grade expansion, which is currently housed in the JCC.

  4. This building was designed by noted architect Henry Howard and built as a court house in 1855. At that time, Carrollton was an independent city and was part of Jefferson Parish. When Carrollton was absorbed by the City of New Orleans in 1874, the building continued to operate as a court house for the 7th Municipal District. In the early 1890’s it was converted to a school and has served that purpose ever since. It is probably the oldest school building in the city and I am so pleased that the school board is investing significant funds into restoring this landmark.

  5. Very good news. I am so glad to hear that recovery funds have been allocated for this significant historic structure housing excellent academic programming. Well done! Can we lobby for further funding to build a new wing and get the kids out of the mid-20th-century portables?

  6. Unfortunately, the old courthouse has not been granted to Audubon. It is still scheduled for repurposing, or as previously called “land banked.” These are “stabilization” funds, such as for upkeep, roof repair needs, etc. Audubon requested the Allen Building. So hopefully it, or a great alternative, is available.

  7. The portables that house the French students are not acceptable in there current state. The air conditioners give off so much noise that the teachers need to turn them off in the hotter months just so the kids can hear. They also leak a white fluid. A rat, yes a rat fell from the ceiling while the FAME board walked through to see how bad the portables are! This is disgusting and unsanitary and a cause of extreme concern for the health and safety of our children. The money needs to include the complete overhaul of these portable buildings if Audubon wants to continue to have an upper grade French program.

    • The French Parents always refer to the portables as the classrooms for the French students, which is not accurate information. There are only 2 French classes in the portables. The French Middle School classes are in the main building. There are Montessori classes in the portables too – two classes across from the cafeteria and 4 Middle school classes. ALL of the students deserve a state of the art building, and the last I heard, Audubon was ONE school, so stop focusing so much on the French Students and focus on the WHOLE school – please.

      • I don’t want to open a can of worms, here, but I have a question. I hope an innocent one, at that. I don’t really know much about the history of Audubon or much of any other school in this city (not from here), but when I read stories about Audubon or talk to parents from Audubon, it seems like such a divisive environment. I know there are 2 types of schools under one roof (Montessori and French – in and of itself seems bizarre to me), but isn’t it one school? Has the school ever thought os separating? I’m wondering how the needs of such polar opposite teaching methods are met under 1 roof? It seems like someone, at one time or another, will be left out in the cold.

        How does that work over there and does anyone know why the schools never separated or, at least, kept all the French kids in 1 building and the Montessori in the other? I know the 2 sides of the school don’t even have recess together, right? So they are already separated under 1 roof. Why not separate buildings so each community can interact with the older kids of their “school.”

        And please don’t get ugly with posts, I am only asking an innocent question from an outsiders point of view.

        • If variety is the spice of life, diversity is certainly the spice of our city and of Audubon. New Orleans would not be the same without the intermingling of many cultures.

          Of the hundreds of families at Audubon, only a few French parents feel at odds with the school. Most are pleased with it’s curriculum and but a handful have asked to divide the programs over the last few years. The programs share resources, teachers, etc. The number of Montessori students greatly exceeds the number of French students. So, if the programs split, one building would be beyond capacity while the other would be vacant in comparison. Resources would be apportioned accordingly.

          The environment at Audubon is a comfortable one with happy children. It takes “all comers” and still performs well. It is an A+ school.

          But on outside websites, anonymity allows a few voices to appear to be a symphony. Dissemination of misinformation…It’s really sad.

      • Audubon Parent, So true, ALL of the kids in the portables, and the whole building for that matter, deserve to go to school in better conditions. The bathrooms in the main building are terrible too. It’s like being in a third world country.

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