Renovating old NOCCA site proves too pricey for Lusher

Renovating the old New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts school into a third campus has proven too expensive an idea for Lusher Charter School amid the present uncertainty about public school funding, so school officials are restarting their search for a new Uptown location. The low-end estimate of the price to refurbish the old NOCCA buildling on Perrier Street is about $10 million, Lusher CEO Kathy Riedlinger told the school board in a Saturday morning meeting. With her recommendation that the board cease investigating that option, it is effectively of the table, she said afterward. Lusher has added two classes to its kindergarten that are temporarily being taught at the Jewish Community Center, but is searching for a permanent third campus in addition to its elementary school on Willow Street and high school on Freret. Meanwhile, the Orleans Parish School Board was planning to put the NOCCA site up for a second auction after a first round failed to draw a bid that met the state minimum, but Lusher became interested in the property and asked for time to study it.

Black and gold at the Blues Festival

The bustle of food vendors, artists, blues musicians and their dancers Sunday at the Magazine Street Blues Festival all came to a sudden halt at 3 p.m. – kickoff time for the Saints – when flat-screen TVs in the middle of Napoleon Avenue took center stage.