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Momentum building toward school move to new campus by year's end; TS Lee damage repaired

Edward Hynes Charter School will vacate its current premises and move into a new building before year’s end, the school’s board of directors said during its September monthly meeting.

According to last week’s report from the project manager of the new building at 990 Harrison Ave., the school is on track to move into the building the week of Dec.19. The school expects more frequent progress reports on the building as move-in date nears.

The board meeting began at 5:10 p.m., with three board members present: Alvin Meister, Timothy Ryan and Elizabeth Sigler. Board president Todd Schexnayder was absent, as were members April Bedford, Barbara Richard and Darlene Morgan. Ten members of the public were also in attendance, including a reporter for The Lens.

Last Tuesday, 90 days before the proposed move-in date, the Hynes board hosted a tour of the new building for local community leaders and executive board members of the Parent Teacher Organization.

Classes will begin at the new campus on Jan. 9.

In her two-page Principal’s Report, Michelle Douglas highlighted other recent developments, including Title I funds for an after-school program, a grant application for the school’s new library, planning for a school gala next year, and the recent roof damage caused by Tropical Storm Lee.

The storm damage required vacating three classrooms. To accommodate the change, teachers with opposite schedules were made to share classrooms. Douglas said the school paid for the roofing repairs, while the Orleans Parish School Board agreed to pay for the interior repairs.

Douglas announced that Title I funds, allocated to Hynes by the OPSB, make it possible to launch the LEAP Preparation and Remediation Program in coming months. Beginning November and running through March, fourth-graders will be able to take part in the after-school program. Eight grade students receive preparation through the school’s enrichment class schedule.

She said Hynes also has applied for the Laura Bush Recovery Grant, a $75,000 library grant. The grant will help purchase more books and library materials for the new school. .

To mark the opening of the facility, Douglas said plans are underway for a Saturday gala on Feb. 4, on the theme  “There’s No Place Like Home,” a spin-off of the “Wizard of Oz.”

“Everybody is coming out for everything we host,” Douglas said. “It’s been really exciting so far.”

The school hopes the magical atmosphere will raise $30,000 – $40,000 to help with operating costs.

The 35-minute meeting concluded with a financial report on the Hynes Charter School Corporation.

According to the independent auditors’ report, Hynes finished the 2010 – 2011 school year with total liabilities and net assets of $2.7 million.

Amy Verberne, speaking on behalf of the audit report, praised Hynes for its “cooperation and transparency.”

The next board meeting is Oct. 2.

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