Kennedy High School demolition underway

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 1 at 6:36 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS - For many years, John F. Kennedy High School in New Orleans was the proud home of the Cougars.

Today, it sits on Bayou St. John as a monument to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.

Nearly six years after the storm, the graffiti-riddled, storm-damaged buildings are finally coming down.
     
Neighbors enjoying the biking and jogging trail across the street from the school say it's about time.

"You see a lot of people hanging around," said biker Christine Robert. "It's not really safe. It would be nice to see it gone."

"It's a shame that the building was damaged so much that it can't be repaired," said jogger Shannon Jones. "But, after a certain point, it's time to move on and get rid of the thing."

Monday, crews removed asbestos tiles from the school.

All of the copper and anything else of value have long since been plundered by vandals.

The buildings are now expected to be demolished in the next two to three weeks. 
  
The Recovery School District is paying for the demolition.

The 17 and a half acre site will soon revert back to the Orleans Parish School District.

School board member Thomas Robichaux says so far offers to redevelop the property have fallen through.

"I've heard some inquiries from Loyola about a baseball diamond," said Robichaux. "I've heard some inquires from City Park about a driving range. All these things are secondary or tertiary to the needs of the school district."

For now, the school district plans to land bank this property for future needs, but it is willing to sell if the right buyer makes an offer.

"It is a valuable piece of property and if do determine that it's surplus and we're ready to sell it, said Robichaux. "I think it would be profitable to the district to sell it and we could use that money for other projects."

The asking price has yet to be determined.

The price tag for demolition is $1.1 million.

Right now, the property is zoned as park land.

If a buyer wants to build on it, the property would require a zoning variance from the city.

 

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