NEW ORLEANS – The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently provided $27 million in funding to the Archdiocese of New Orleans towards the construction of a new high school campus named Academy of Our Lady.
FEMA’s recent grant gave the Archdiocese of New Orleans the necessary “green light” to move forward with their building plans. With FEMA’s financial aid now available to support the new school’s construction costs, the Archdiocese of New Orleans plans to build the new Academy of Our Lady High School within Jefferson Parish’s Marrero community.
Like many other applicants throughout Louisiana, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is currently utilizing FEMA’s alternate project rebuilding option, where the agency allows an applicant to pool together separate grants slated for separate recovery projects toward one, new recovery project.
“Our alternate project funding option gives our applicants control to decide how they should rebuild their storm-damaged facilities in the best interest of the public,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. “FEMA understands the importance of allowing such significant rebuilding decisions to be made locally, since Hurricane Katrina first and foremost affected the residents who live here.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, which oversees the alternate project funding option, works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures of both government and certain nonprofit organizations. With their main purpose as educational facilities, Katrina-damaged schools owned by the Archdiocese of New Orleans qualify to receive FEMA funding as a private nonprofit applicant.
The $27 million from FEMA that will fund the new Academy of Our Lady High School comes from grants associated with Katrina damages incurred across nine other Archdiocesan-owned facilities, which the Archdiocese specified for use as “donor facilities.”
Once built, Academy of Our Lady High School will consist of approximately 132,000 square feet of space. Along with classrooms and other standard features, the new campus will also contain a multipurpose building and art building.
“We are most grateful that funds are now committed to the construction of a new state-of-the-art campus for the Academy of Our Lady,” said Archbishop Gregory Aymond. “The new campus will enable the school to continue to grow and meet the needs of young women in the community.”
Academy of Our Lady High School’s construction is expected to begin January 2013.
To date, FEMA has obligated approximately $338 million in Public Assistance funding to the Archdiocese of New Orleans for Katrina-related recovery work to its educational facilities. This funding has helped repair or rebuild Archdiocesan-owned schools in Orleans, St. Tammany and St. Bernard parishes.
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 coordin...