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Experts Helping Revise New Orleans Facilities Plan

A team of experts is helping revise the facilities master plans for upgrading schools in New Orleans.

The state-run Recovery School District and the Orleans Parish School Board brought in the experts in an effort to make the best use of available funding. Recovery District Superintendent John White says the current facilities plan covers only 83 percent of the projected public school enrollment in the city.

As the city continues to rebuild facilities damaged or destroyed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, school officials are searching for ways to improve cost efficiency and find ways to leverage funding to cover more school projects.

Among the options that the experts are evaluating: the feasibility of a prototype for an 850-student preK-8 campus, and for a high school campus; the feasibility of bulk purchasing of certain items, and the availability of tax credits and bond subsidies to acquire additional funding or reduce costs.

As proposed, the facilities master plan has three phases; 54 projects have funding in place for phases 1 and 2, but 19 projects in phase 3 are unfunded.

The proposed changes to the facilities plan will go before the Orleans Parish Board and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in October.

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