WASHINGTON – FEMA will award the Orleans Parish School Board $1.8 billion to rebuild and refurbish buildings damaged during Katrina it was announced Wednesday.
According to a spokesman for Senator Mary Landrieu, the settlement will help build state of the art educational facilities for a system that had long been in disrepair.
“While we would have liked to have received the money sooner, it was worth the wait,” said Landrieu.“
Mayor Mitch Landrieu and others lauded the decision, though Mayor Landrieu lamented that the settlement took so long to arrive.
“This settlement is a big win for the children of New Orleans. Katrina destroyed or damaged 127 of our schools, and for too long our children have been learning in temporary, unsatisfactory buildings. This settlement will help make schools the center of neighborhood renewal.
RSD and OPSB asked FEMA to provide a single payment for reconstruction of New Orleans schools. There were 127 campuses in New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina. Those are being consolidated into 87 campuses under the School Facilities Master Plan for Orleans Parish. The Master Plan, approved in November 2008 by the Orleans Parish School Board and state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, will guide future school renovation and construction.