NEW ORLEANS – The 3100 block of Canal Street is a vacant lot today, but it will soon bustle with Warren Easton band members practicing field shows, football players running drills and students in physical-education classes.
Legacy Field, as it will be known, was formally announced Friday morning, a year after Easton officials acquired the block.
A fundraising campaign is now underway to complete development of the field. Among those who have donated so far is Sandra Bullock, who has been involved with the school as a donor on several occasions in recent years.
It’s the latest improvement project at Easton, which was swamped during Hurricane Katrina but has since been recognized as an A-rated, Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
“The phoenix may have risen from the ashes, but the Warren Easton Eagles have risen from the mud, the muck and the mire of Hurricane Katrina,” William “Billy” Hatchett III, a Warren Easton Charter Foundation board member, said as the Fighting Eagle Band belted struck up the fight song.
Before Easton acquired the block, it was made up of 23 parcels, 22 of which were owned by one family.
Also before the school bought the land, school officials had to rent offsite practice fields and bus students to those locations for any practice that required greenspace.
Easton, like many schools in Orleans Parish, is in a century-old building that landlocked with little outdoor space on the grounds.
“We are so thrilled to have this green space for our students,” said Principal Alexina Medley. “Our children deserve a beautiful space to play sports or just be outside on campus. This is a major step forward for Easton and we are lucky to have this opportunity to expand our historical campus.”
District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said that there has been some discussion about closing the 100 block of North Salcedo Street, which divides the school building and field, as a way to unite the properties.
“I think that’s more than appropriate,” she said.
Anyone looking to contribute to the capital campaign can contact Regina Wilkins at email@example.com.