More than $21.7M granted to New Orleans schools

NEW ORLEANS – The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Recovery Authority have announced an additional $21.7 million for schools throughout the New Orleans area, including funding for Edward Hynes Elementary and Holy Cross schools.

NEW ORLEANS – The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Recovery Authority have announced an additional $21.7 million for schools throughout the New Orleans area, including funding for Edward Hynes Elementary and Holy Cross schools. “These additional grants will help two educational establishments in this city by providing the necessary dollars to support their recovery plans,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office Acting Director Tony Russell. “By continuing to provide public assistance funding for the restoration of learning facilities throughout this city, students will have greater opportunities at every level to reach their true potential.” For Edward Hynes Elementary School, FEMA has recently provided $18.7 million to the Orleans Parish School Board to fund the extra costs necessary to support the replacements of three Hynes buildings – the main school building, as well as buildings No. 4 and No. 6. This supplemental funding resulted from scope of work realignments, after comprehensive follow-up inspections estimated damages to be more than 50 percent of the costs necessary to replace the facility. Per FEMA policy, when damages surpass this threshold, funding is provided as a replacement project instead of a repair project. Also resulting from scope of work realignments, Holy Cross has been awarded an additional $3 million supplemental grant to support the replacement of its gymnasium. This grant brings the total provided to Holy Cross School to more than $8.1 million. The new recreational facility will be built at Holy Cross’ post-Katrina site in Gentilly. “Education is a non-negotiable element in our children’s future and the future of our state; therefore, rebuilding New Orleans’ educational infrastructure is essential to our overall recovery. FEMA’s assistance will help make this possible,” LRA Executive Director Paul Rainwater said. When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are transferred to a federal Smartlink account. Once the funds have reached this account, the applicant can request reimbursement from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) for eligible work completed. Obligated funds may change over time as the project worksheet is a living grant that is often adjusted as bids come in and scope of work is aligned. 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. Special to the NNPA from the Louisiana Weekly ______ Copyright 2009 NNPA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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