NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — “I actually feel a little betrayed,” that was what one parent of a Homer Plessy School student said at a community input meeting on Monday evening.
The meeting was held to talk about the future of the school, which has been up in the air for a while.
Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams had previously stated the school would close its doors and be rehoused at either the McDonogh 42 or McKenna building. But, after receiving backlash from parents, she put that decision on pause.
“I’m not sure where we will move permanently with decisions,” said Superintendent Williams.
The school sits at the corner of St. Phillip and Royal Streets. It’s known as the “Little Red Schoolhouse” and is the last school in the French Quarter.
“This location is very integrated into all the downriver community, including the Marigny, the Bywater, St. Roch, the Treme and the French Quarter,” said one stakeholder.
Another saying “This location is a magical place.”
School officials say the building has been identified as low quality and needs a number of repairs.
$3.5 million will be invested to fix some of the issues.
“Replace the roof, add a chiller on top of the campus,” said Tiffany Delcour. She is the Chief Operations Officer for Nola Public Schools.
$11 million more is needed for the long term.
“That is replacing all the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing needs of the building, all the supported HVAC work, ADA compliance as well, ceiling to floor finishes, updated lighting,” that’s just a few of the repairs Delcour says the money would cover.
Some parents feel renovating the building is a better option rather than moving the students altogether.
“This is our home and this is a place beyond space,” said one stakeholder.