NORD asks Sophie B. Wright for $3k to practice sports at Harrell; McMain gym construction stalls; ENCORE Academy enrollment surges

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Sophie B. Wright Charter School is looking for places for its sports teams to practice after the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission demanded $3,000 for the school to use Harrell Park. Meanwhile, construction has halted on the new gym at Eleanor McMain Secondary School amid a conflict over minority participation in the contract, and ENCORE Academy is enrolling more students than it originally expected, according to recent reports about Uptown schools.

Sophie B. Wright, which is temporarily being housed at the former Johnson Elementary in west Carrollton amid a two-year renovation to its own building, had hoped for the football team to be able to practice at nearby Harrell Park, but NORDC is requiring a $3,000 fee — which the board plans to request a waiver of, according to a report by The Lens. The school is also going to seek permission to use the newly-renovated Lyons Center for basketball practice, the report states.

At McMain High School, the Orleans Parish School board has terminated the $9.5 million gym-construction contract after an “impasse” over the level of participation by minority-owned businesses in the contract with Ellis Construction, reports Danielle Dreilinger of The Times-Picayune. Site work had already begun, but the contract will now be bundled with another project to stabilize the building’s exterior, the report states.

ENCORE Academy has now enrolled 321 students — exceeding its original second-year projection of 315 — and expects to have closer to 330 by the first day of school, according to a report by Stephen Babcock of The Lens. The board is also considering creating a facilities committee, because the school will have to move out of is current location in the Crocker building on Marengo Street at the end of the school year.

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