Apr 172017

Plans for the new Columbia Parc Elementary school in the St. Bernard Neighborhood (via Waggonner & Ball Architects).

By Claire Byun

A planned St. Bernard neighborhood school gained city approval last week, effectively closing the “cradle to college” education loop in the Columbia Parc development.

The New Orleans City Planning Commissions approved an institutional master plan for Columbia Parc Elementary last week, part of the larger Columbia Parc development on the former St. Bernard housing project land. Columbia Parc includes 685 apartments and townhomes available to all income-levels, including a senior living facility and a nationally-recognized early learning facility called Educare. Continue reading »

Apr 042017

After years of protests, delays and lawsuits, City Park’s Bayou Oaks golf course is slated to open later this month (Claire Byun/cbyun@nolamessenger.com).

By Claire Byun

A brand new Mid-City golf course is just weeks from completion, and officials expect revenues to hit more than $1 million during the first year. Those profits, however, are planned for more charitable uses.

City Park’s newest championship golf course, called Bayou Oaks, opens to the public April 21. The $24 million course will be managed by the Bayou District Foundation, which oversees the North Course in the park as well.

Previously, Bayou District Foundation redeveloped the St. Bernard Public Housing Development to create Columbia Parc in 2010. The 53-acre site is now part of a Bayou District that includes an early education school, a planned K-8 public charter school and a college prep public high school two blocks away. J.T. Hannan, director of public and governmental affairs, said the district includes families from three income levels – low income, public income and market rate – which diversifies the housing complex. Continue reading »

Mar 312017

Several Mid-City artists and ensembles are hitting the stage for the 2017 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Xanier University’s Jazz Ensemble will hit the stage Saturday, April 29 at 11:30 a.m. The ensemble, which will play on the Lagniappe Stage, has toured the United States and South American countries while being recognized annually for its work toward preserving jazz.

Keeping with the educational performances, the McDonogh #35 High School gospel choir is slated to perform Thursday, May 4. The group’s innovation year after year make it a crowd favorite among Gospel lovers and those who appreciate fine choreography, and the ensemble’s biography on the Jazz Fest’s website touts the group’s charm. Continue reading »

Mar 282017

By Claire Byun

Morris Jeff Community School will remain under the Recovery School District – at least for now – due to sky-high insurance costs.

The school’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to stay under RSD control rather than return to the Orleans Parish School Board early at this regular meeting Monday. All RSD schools must fold into OPSB oversight next year, but the district is offering up a chance to return early. Continue reading »

Mar 202017

The Wicker building currently housing Success Prep will be demolished and a new campus will be constructed.

By Claire Byun

More than a decade later, Sci High is finally getting the new campus in the Bio District they were promised.

The New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School was awarded $2.2 million for the design of their new campus in the Bio District. The school was promised a renovated World War II hangar on the Delgado Community College campus prior to Katrina. Continue reading »

Mar 032017

Aaron Walker, CEO of Camelback Ventures, speaks to Warren Easton students during a entrepreneurship panel (via Allstate).

By Claire Byun

A local entrepreneur working to erase the lines of inequality spent last month as one of the honorees of a Black History Month program.

Aaron Walker, CEO of Camelback Ventures, was named a nominee for Allstate’s “Worth Telling” program, which highlights African-Americans around the country working to improve communities. Walker was featured in a video and Allstate officials held discussion panels with students from Warren Easton Charter High School, while also contributing $5,000 to the school’s scholarship fund. Continue reading »

Feb 232017

(via Choice Foundation)

In a vote on Tuesday, February 21, the Choice Foundation Board of Directors opted to transfer oversight of two schools to the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) ahead of the 2018 legal mandate. The OPSB’s oversight of Lafayette Academy in Uptown and Esperanza Charter in Mid-City will begin in the 2017-18 school year. Continue reading »

Feb 202017

Warren Easton Charter High School (photo by Alicia Serrano, MidCityMessenger.com)

By Claire Byun

As the future of education in New Orleans continues to shift toward a unified school district, some charter schools have the option to branch from Orleans Parish School Board oversight.

Warren Easton Charter High School won’t be taking that step – at least this year. Continue reading »

Feb 162017

Warren Easton High School (midcitymessenger.com file photo)

By Claire Byun

Warren Easton Charter High School is once again collecting donations for its annual scholarship fund, and this year the school’s Foundation pulled in a big donor.

Sandra Bullock, actress and New Orleans philanthropist, has agreed to match scholarship donations up to $50,000, Warren Easton board member Billy Hatchett said. Continue reading »

Feb 152017

By Claire Byun

While making New Orleans more equitable for everyone is a sizable goal, Mid-City residents got a taste of what some in the community are doing to solve inequality.

The Mid-City Neighborhood Organization hosted an open discussion on equity around the city at their meeting Monday night, and several citywide organizations turned out to discuss improving life for all New Orleans residents. Continue reading »