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FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice Regarding Section 106 Review of Interior Rehabilitation; New Addition Construction; and Demolition of Outbuildings and Custodial Lodge
Audubon-Montessori School, 428 Broadway Street, New Orleans, LA
Applicant: Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB)
Seeking Public Comment
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Name: Name redacted at the request of the author
City: New Orleans
Comments: The proponents of the proposed Audubon school expansion provide a very selective argument which fails to address the concerns of the neighborhood.

Those in favor of the expansion argue that the school needs to upgrade to a modern facility. I agree. However they are not willing to extend that upgrade argument to include traffic flow, parking or the overall impact on the neighborhood. Let's face it, if this were an empty lot and proposed as a new school without parking, it would never be approved. The school is grandfathered for certain exemptions. However, if the goal is to upgrade to a modern facility then that goal should extend beyond to walls of the expanded, new building.

Those in favor of the expansion argue that we should embrace the historic nature of the school and its neighborhood. I agree. However they are not willing to extend that argument to limit the building footprint, the encroachment on the neighborhood via a zoning variance, the destruction of historic structures or combining two schools on the site of one.

Although there have been several meetings with the neighborhood, little effort has been made to truly engage the neighbors in a meaningful way. The unfortunate result of this lack of honest interaction is that the neighbors feel their only course of action is to somehow craft a legally enforceable commitment to address their concerns.