NEW ORLEANS – The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today a $9.7 million grant to the Plaquemines Parish School Board for the construction of a new, consolidated post-Katrina school—South Plaquemines Elementary School.
FEMA’s recent grant comes mainly as consolidated funding, approving the local school board’s request to utilize federal dollars previously obligated for recovery work across several other Plaquemines’ school system facilities.
Those facilities—the Port Sulphur High School Building, Elementary School Building, Boiler Building, Special Education Office and Buras Middle School Gymnasium—will not be reconstructed as they were pre-Katrina. Instead, their eligible recovery dollars will go toward the construction of the new South Plaquemines Elementary School.
“The Plaquemines Parish School Board knows how to best rebuild their facilities in the interest of their community’s post-Katrina educational needs,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. “FEMA continues to support such work and remains resolute in helping restore educational systems throughout Louisiana.”
The new South Plaquemines Elementary School will be built at 218 School Road in Port Sulphur and will educate pre-kindergarten through sixth graders. Construction is expected to begin September 2011, with an anticipated completion date of February 2013.
“Our school board and our community are very excited about the building of South Plaquemines Elementary School,” said Plaquemines Parish School Board Superintendent Denis Rousselle. “FEMA’s support means there will be a new, top-notch educational facility in our community that will directly benefit our local children.”
To date, FEMA has provided more than $199 million to the Plaquemines Parish School Board for recovery work related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are made available to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, who disburses them to the applicant for eligible work completed.
The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private nonprofit organizations’ buildings, as well as roads, bridges and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.