Sunday, March 18, 2012

Visit to Site of New School

The current location of Patrick Taylor Academy is in a 1950's building that was designed for elementary students. The library is in a classroom. There is no auditorium or gym or any place on campus that can hold the whole student body. There are only 300 students, but to accommodate that many students on the campus, the district had to add four portable classrooms in the back field. I am going to say something because it is true. The current Taylor building is one of the ugliest school buildings that I have every worked in. I have been in old buildings before that had lots of issues due to neglect but also had charm and interesting architectural details due to their age. Not so for this space.
Sign at new site 
When I was hired in 2006, PFTSTA was only two years old. The district promised that a building was going to be built for the new school. There have been no new schools built in Jefferson Parish in over 20 years. So this is a big deal. Originally, the move in date was for some time in 2009. That year came and went, but if you visit the site of the new school today you will see that the current 2013 move in date is a real possibility.
On the left is the JEDCO building that is completed
On The right is the 8 acre site of the new school


Yesterday, my husband and I were on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish. Both Orleans and Jefferson Parishes are divided by the Mississippi River. The new site of PFTSTA will be in Avondale across the river from New Orleans. We were eating lunch and watching traffic back up on the Crescent City Connection. We knew that to get home in a timely manner that we would need to take the other bridge, the Huey P. Long. At lunch, we decided that it was time for a field trip to Churchill Technology Park to see what is happening with the new school. 
PFTSTA site March 17, 2012

As you can see in the picture above, there are dozens of pilings that have been driven. There were workers present on Saturday repairing one of the machines that they needed for next week's work. One of the men told me that he has driven over 1500 pilings at the site. There is a fence around the eight acre site, but there are also sidewalks in place. We walked the sidewalks to get a feel for the place. It is a beautiful and quiet location. Of course, the magnificent New Orleans spring weather helped. I am not looking forward to a commute, but this is going to be a really awesome space. I look forward to the day that I am   in a library big enough for quiet and noisy students to work and be able to look out the windows and see the blue sky and tops of the trees. We were told that there were some alligators in the neighborhood. We looked for them on our way out, but we never did see them. 
This is the back end of the site. 
There will be fields for sports located here.


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