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Board ponders choice of campuses, timing of move; red ink worries auditors

Lagniappe Academies will decide in coming months whether to remain where it is or move to one of two available campuses, board members learned during their monthly meeting, Dec. 7.
According to the board, the school has been given a preliminary green light to either move into McDonogh No.7 — a space soon to be vacated by Crocker Arts and Technology School — or the former St. Rose de Lima School, shuttered since 1978 but scheduled to be rebuilt early next year.

“We can stay here for one more year. … It’ll be tight but we can make it happen if need be,” Chief Academic Officer Kendall Petri said. “Both facilities would be great locations but we’re not even sure if they will be ready on time for next year.”

The 45-minute meeting began at 6 p.m. with a financial audit report from Don Wheat and William Kulick, accountants with the Carr, Riggs & Ingram firm.

According to the report, Lagniappe Academies current liabilities exceeded its current assets; the school has spent $50,000 more than it received for the past school year.

“A lot of the expenditures, direct school expenditures, … went through the school’s foundation,” Wheat said. “This is not beneficial or wise as the foundation moves forward.” Wheat recommended that the foundation separate its fundraising proceeds from the school’s expenses. “The foundation’s main expense should be the check it writes to the school,” he said.

Wheat also warned that the school has very little cash on hand, a situation that he said “is always a worry to any organization.”

The board refused a request by The Lens for a copy of the audit to share with the public, saying it had not been accepted by the board but would be available at the next board meeting.”

The board concluded the meeting by announcing that its December meeting, originally scheduled for Dec. 14., will be postponed until January.

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