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FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice Regarding Section 106 Review of State of Louisiana, LA Dept of Education/Recovery School District (RSD) Proposal to Demolish and Replace the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, 2300 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA - Seeking Public Comment"
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Name: Keli Rylance
City: New Orleans, LA
Phillis Wheatley Elementary School
Comments: I am dismayed that the Recovery School District (RSD) has consistently sought rejuvenation through demolition and waste rather than seeking environmentally and socially responsible solutions.

When New Orleans architects Charles Colbert, Buster Curtis and Arthur Davis designed these schools, they did so with utopian sensibilities about the role of education in an urban society. They employed innovative design configurations that promoted creative learning and play. They developed structures that both diminished the threat of flooding and allowed outdoor recreational spaces for the children and the surrounding neighborhoods. Their interior space configurations were well suited to a sub-tropical climate, with cross ventilation of primary concern. Their designs garnered international acclaim, winning accolades from professional architects, designers, and educators.

Such are the losses if Phillis Wheatley Elementary School is demolished.

What are the products of demolition?

3,200 truckloads of concrete, enough to extend bumper-to-bumper across the entire city

Enough steel to manufacture 3,000 automobiles

Enough pipe to extend the Empire State Building's height ten times

As this city and nation are challenged to create a more sustainable future, saving this structure for reuse as a school or neighborhood center is the most responsible solution. A renovated school, rich in history and cultural memories, exemplifying an economical and mindful approach to our resources, is the most valuable model for our children.