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Campus move yields hefty surplus — but its uses are limited to debt service, construction

New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy expects to end the year with an $85,000 surplus, not counting the $2.1 million reaped from the move to a new campus.

That was the gist of a budget update provided at the monthly board meeting, April 17, by Ben Hicks, the school’s chief financial officer.

“We’re still absorbing impacts of how real estate funding is impacting the school over the long term,” Hicks said, referring to the school’s move this year to a new facility.

The school’s commandant, Bill Davis, said the $2.1 million surplus from the move is committed to debt service and construction expenses. “While it’s included in our financial assets, these are not liquid funds that we can use for anything involving operations,” Davis said.

NOMMA has been adding a grade a year since it opened with only a ninth grade in 2011. It will be a four-year high school starting next semester.

The  ACT test was administered at NOMMA for the first time this year and the school was voted into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association as a 2A school for varsity sports, principal Cecelia Garcia said. “We applied for basketball, cross country, soccer and wrestling,” Garcia said. “We’re looking forward to having a varsity team next year.

Davis announced that two NOMMA students are jointly enrolled at Delgado Community College and that he has been working toward further interaction with the college as NOMMA begins maritime courses next year.

NOMMA has been invited to serve as the color guard at the May 5 inauguration of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at the Saenger Theatre, Davis said. Unfortunately, that’s also the first day of end-of-term exams. “Dr. Garcia has it on her shoulders to figure out which cadets aren’t taking tests at the time, and can participate,” Davis said.

The board approved a motion to hold the school’s annual budget hearing on Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m., following the monthly board meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m.

The hour-long April meeting began at 6 p.m. at the school, 425 O’Bannon St., Algiers, and ended at 7 p.m. Board members Gen. Jack Bergman, Capt. Marcellus Grace, John Charpentier, James Bean, Capt. David Whiddon, Courtney Bagneris and board chairman Col. Terry Ebbert were present. Carol McCall, Eades Hogue, James Reiss and Blake LeMaire were absent.

A reporter for The Lens was the only member of the general public in attendance.

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