Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: November 15th, 2007 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment

Baton Rouge High SchoolI spoke at a community meeting in Baton Rouge called by a neighborhood organization to hear about the Baton Rouge school board’s plans for Baton Rouge High School, built in 1926 and individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to the Trust, the preservation side was very ably represented by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, and the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation, two long-time Trust partners.

The school board has appointed a sub-committee, which is charged with making a recommendation by early next year on the school’s future. There is plenty of support in the community and among alumni and students to save the school, but financing the school’s renovation will be a challenge. Many communities around the country have dealt with similar situations, and the National Trust will continue to be a resource and advocate for historic preservation and creative renovation of the school.

Walter Gallas is director of the New Orleans Field Office.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.


One Response

  1. James Freeman

    November 18, 2007

    Funding, actually, IS NOT a challenge. Political will and fiscal common sense is the challenge for the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, which ran up a *minimum* $66 million surplus for the 2006-07 fiscal year alone.

    The board, without debate, chose to dip into this windfall to fund recurring expenses — pay raises. The board president and superintendent are talking about calling an election on a tax increase JUST for the Baton Rouge High renovation . . . apart from a renewal of the present 1-cent sales tax for facilities repair and renovation.

    How do you think that will go over when BRMHS is hardly the only facility in Baton Rouge that’s in extremely rough shape?

    The way in which BRMHS has been allowed to fall into such disrepair is a scandal . . . and it CANNOT all be blamed on “moisture intrusion.” Not all of it. Go here, follow the links and get an eyeful: