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NOMMA faces uncertainty about interim and permanent locations

Col. Bill Davis, New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy Commandant,
announced at the board’s June 13 meeting that the school had not
received word on when it might be able to move to the temporary
location where it plans to hold classes next year.

“No major changes from three weeks ago,” he said.

The proposed interim location is an empty, existing building located
within the Federal City development in Algiers.

While the interim school building is available for use, Davis said
moving into the building would require utilities to be rerouted as
well as other preparations.

“We’re eight weeks out from being operational over there, and that’s
the frustration for me,” Davis said.

“Do you think they can have that ready to move in?” asked member Eades Hogue.

Davis said he thought the school had enough time to get moved in, but
it was going to be a fairly basic, bare-bones setup.

Many of the contractual details involving NOMMA’s interim space are at
the mercy of the organizations involved in developing Federal City.

The school’s eventual long-term home will be included in new
construction within Federal City, parts of which are
held up in negotiations.

Algiers Development District, which holds the 75-year lease on the
property, and the New Orleans Federal Alliance, a non-profit created
to develop Federal City, continue to negotiate the details of the massive Federal City development.

Because the school has no power to negotiate directly in the matter,
it expects to wait until the terms are finalized.

“We’re waiting from some kind of response from NOFA (the New Orleans Federal Alliance),” Davis said.

NOMMA will be unable to sell the bonds it planned to sell in July to
finance the new construction, if issues are not resolved by then.

“It’s a difficult situation, when you’re not the master of your own
destiny, and the different players won’t get in the room together,”
said President Terry Ebbert.  He stressed the importance of Davis
explaining, to the extent possible, what he called the “traffic of
negotiations” to the board members, so they could provide input and
ideas that might resolve sticking points.

The board also discussed the historical status of the Federal City
district.  The various entities involved in the development had chosen
a building-by-building policy for historical designation, rather than
declaring the entire area a historical district.

The meeting concluded at 6:54 p.m.

Present were Board President Col. Terry Ebbert, members Carol McCall,
Capt. Dave Whiddon, Eades Hogue, Maj. Blake LeMaire, Courtney
Bagneris, and Dr. Marcellus Grace.  Also present were Commandant Col.
Bill Davis, and Prinicpal Cecilia Garcia.  Absent were members James
Reiss, Maj. General Walter Paulson, and Lt. Gen. Jack Bergman.

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