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WWL-TV

NEWORLEANS - A massive preservation project is underway at the site of the future teaching hospital to be built here in New Orleans.

Crews are moving the largest structure ever in Louisiana.

The historic McDonogh 11 school is on a slow journey to a new location.

It was moving one to two miles per hour around noon on Thursday, and that's fast compared to the rate it was going earlier that morning.

In the first 30 minutes, the 1,500 ton building built in 1879 moved 12 feet.

This was so that crews could get the massive structure onto wooden mats to move across the soft soil.

Officials with the state said the cost to move McDonogh 11 is a half a million dollars and this will only it to bring to a temporary location three football fields away.

The president of the shoring company says it's a tedious process.

'The wooden mats couldnt fit underneath the building. We couldnt get a machine to put mats underneath the building. We had to make a roadway underneath - don't want to crack sheetrock inside, also floors inside the building,' said President of Orleans Shoring, Christian Cancienne.

The state said it's trying to find a permanent location for the school and so far, it looks like the site of the old crime lab on Tulane and Gayoso may be it.

As for the medical center, officials hope to have it up and running by 2015.

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