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||Name redacted at the request of the author
||New Orleans, LA
|Thomy Lafon Elementary
||Given what we have seen of buildings left open and un-protected since Hurricane Katrina, it is a huge consideration as to whether a building is truly able to be rehabbed vs. demolition, particularly with buildings constructed when asbestos and lead paint were a given.
Additionally, we now expect, and should, that our schools are modern and equipped for the future, including considering long-term maintenance and operating costs and the ability to equip youth with the exposure to technology so key to competing in the local and global economies.
Assuming that this kind of cost-benefit analysis has occured in making this decision regarding Lafon, I submit that the powers that be should make a decision that makes sense for long-term operations of the school and provides for quality and modern education facilities for children attending this school. Further, surrounding neighborhood redevelopment depends upon attracting and retaining families that are confident in the quality and longevity of the local school.
I suggest that it is not obvious that repair (after a building has been 4+ years vacant and unattended) is a better option than quality, modern new construction for our youth.
Having attended a century old high school where maintenance was neglected for years, I know of waste baskets being used to retain dripping from rains and being used to capture bats living in the attics. This is not a secure and safe environment for our youth, and if Lafon's existing building cannot provide for safe, sanitary and energy efficient buildings for our education system, I submit that demolition and reconstruction is more appropriate to help secure the future of our next generation... They deserve it!