Hurricanes Katrina and Rita severely damaged the campus of Holy Cross School, located at 4950 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. In the aftermath of the hurricanes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is issuing this public notice as part of its responsibilities under 36 CFR Part 800, the regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. This notice applies to activities carried out by FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program implemented under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C.§§ 5152-5206.
Holy Cross School (Applicant) has applied for PA funds to construct a new campus (Undertaking) at the existing site of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini School and Church (Church) and the Redeemer-Seton School. The identification and evaluation portion of the regulations cited above require that FEMA determine if properties affected by this Undertaking are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. FEMA, in consultation with the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) determined that the Church is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Furthermore, FEMA and the SHPO concurred that based upon information provided to FEMA by the Applicant, the Undertaking has the potential to cause adverse effects to the Church.
FEMA sought the views of the public in considering the nature and complexity of this Undertaking. FEMA conducted a public meeting on February 26, 2007 to provide the public an opportunity to learn about the project and provide comments. FEMA also submitted three public notices to The New Orleans Times Picayune and The Baton Rouge Advocate on February 5, 2007, February 15, 2007, and February 22, 2007, to advertise the public comment period, to provide direction to the public about how to provide written comments or comments through a web site and through the U.S. mail, and to announce the public meeting on February 26, 2007. FEMA posted these same public notices on the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism web site to enable public comment and provide key documents for public review. FEMA received and considered approximately 1,300 public comments regarding the Undertaking.
On March 20, 2007, a final Memorandum of Agreement (Agreement) was signed by FEMA, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Officer, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Holy Cross School, and the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Stipulations in the Agreement include architectural documentation of the Church, archival storage of both historic records and files associated with this project, development of a reuse plan for some of the Church's architectural elements, and the development of a church commemoration plan. Certain stipulations must be completed before any demolition of the Church can proceed. A copy of the MOA is available at www.crt.state.la.us/culturalassets/fema106/PDF/StFrancesXavierCabriniChurchMOA3-21-07.pdf.