||The New Orleans BZA granted a variance without meeting the specific criteria needed to satisfy such a large expansion, and waiver of existing setback ordinances.
The new addition has no significant architectural elements consistent with the historic nature of the neighborhood. Demolition of the caretakers cottage would be an historic loss to Pine Street. Neighbors have spent significant amounts of time and money restoring old homes to their former states, not demolishing them; in compliance with BZA restrictions. Why should the school be exempt?
With three abandoned schools in the neighborhood, all historic buildings it seems shortsighted to put such a poorly planned eyesore of an addition on an historic building permanently altering the profile and character of Pine Street.
The school should be renovated and expanded but not to the scale OPSB and FEMA want. (N.O. schools at a capacity of 900 + students.) This was disclosed at the neighborhood meetings, ultimate capacity was over 900 for Audubon Charter, or any other school operating out of this building.
Care should be taken to preserve the roots of three live oak trees 100 years old, and to ensure their survival through the construction process.
Water management should be addressed, street flooding is also an issue already.