NEW ORLEANS – As repairs to St. Bernard Parish’s early 20th century courthouse near completion, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today $638,677 in additional funding for the Katrina-related restoration work.
This new funding brings the agency’s total monetary support to more than $7.5 million for the noteworthy project.
The historic courthouse, known as “St. Bernard’s Old Courthouse,” dates back to 1915 and served as the parish’s first courthouse until 1939. More recently, prior to Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Parish leased the courthouse facility to the local public school board for use as Beauregard Middle School. For this reason, the facility is also commonly referred to as the “Old Beauregard Middle School.”
Located on Bayou Road and Beauregard Lane in St. Bernard, the courthouse was flooded by an estimated 8 feet of water during Katrina, causing extensive damages to the historic facility. Nearly seven years later, it is now returning to the community after undergoing successful recovery measures.
“This landmark project, involving one of the parish’s most important historic buildings, is the result of the successful collaboration between the parish government, the state and FEMA’s public assistance and historic preservation groups,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan.
“In the end, the courthouse’s original and historic features will be repaired while returning the building’s functional, pre-Katrina use as an educational facility.”
“Since taking office on January 10, 2012, we have witnessed the exceptional, cooperative relationship fostered between FEMA and St. Bernard Parish. The Old Historic Courthouse is a perfect example of this relationship,” said St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta. “As this refurbished courthouse nears substantial completion, I would like to thank our local FEMA team for an outstanding job regarding their efforts to preserve this historic landmark, which allows the beautiful Old Beauregard Courthouse to return to its days of glory. This is FEMA at its finest.”
As with all federally funded recovery projects, FEMA ensures that efforts comply with federal environmental and historic preservation laws and Executive Orders.
“FEMA’s recovery grants not only enable new life for damaged facilities, but when applicable, also preserve history—as is the case with this project,” said Cadogan.
FEMA-funded work on the storm-damaged courthouse’s historical features includes the masonry walls; ornamental-stamped, copper cornice; and refurbishment of its original wood windows, wood floors and interior plasterwork.
To date, including this recent grant, FEMA has provided approximately $1.7 billion in public assistance funding for recovery work related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita throughout St. Bernard Parish.
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 fo...