NEW ORLEANS – As the construction of Our Lady of Lourdes School's new cafeteria nears completion, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today $984,241 in additional funding to the Archdiocese of New Orleans for the Katrina-related recovery project.
This new funding brings the federal agency’s total monetary support for the cafeteria’s construction to nearly $3.5 million. More than $23.2 million has gone toward the recovery efforts at Our Lady of Lourdes School—a prekindergarten through eighth grade Catholic School located in Slidell, LA.
“We greatly appreciated FEMA’s ongoing work with us that make capital projects such as the Our Lady of Lourdes cafeteria, and entire campus, possible post-Katrina. This allows us to continue our mission to educate children of the community, and as we are very aware of in our area, education is a key element in the fight against poverty and violence,” said Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
Like many schools owned and operated by the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Our Lady of Lourdes campus incurred significant damages during Hurricane Katrina. The cafeteria, which provided meals to students and also served as a general assembly center at the school, qualified for FEMA assistance after floodwaters rendered the facility completely inoperable and in need of complete reconstruction.
“Meal services for students are currently provided out of temporary facilities at Our Lady of Lourdes’ campus,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. “Our recent funding, along with previously provided grants, ensures that a more permanent cafeteria will once again serve students in the near future.”
Construction of Our Lady of Lourdes’ post-Katrina cafeteria is expected to be completed during the 2012-2013 school year.
In addition to FEMA's recent aid, on an even larger scale, FEMA has supported Our Lady of Lourdes School's overall recovery, including funding the replacements of a majority of the school’s classrooms and administration offices.
To date, FEMA has obligated approximately $323.5 million in public assistance funding to the Archdiocese of New Orleans for Katrina-related recovery efforts across Archdiocesan-owned schools in Orleans, St. Tammany, Jefferson 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 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.