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Interim site for school to be ready in the nick of time

“It’s good to work with professionals,” NOMMA Commandant Col. Bill Davis said, in a reference to Woodward Design + Build construction firm. “They said they’re going to be done by Friday the 10th.”

At their monthly meeting, Col. Davis updated the New Orleans Military/Maritime Academy board on efforts to prepare the school’s interim site for the coming academic year.  Davis said the move to the U.S. Navy hospital site was on track, though the first day of school would be delayed until August 15th.

The news came as a relief to the board of directors.  They devoted the remainder of the August 2nd meeting to long-term and short-term planning for the school’s permanent move to a new building within Federal City in 2013.

Parties involved in the large Federal City development are a complex array of military branches, government agencies, private development companies, and non-profit organizations.  Preparations for the interim site had been delayed by negotiations between the Algiers Development District and the New Orleans Federal Alliance. After the meeting Col. Davis told The Lens that all parties understand the school will move to the interim site by August 15, and all agree on a plan to build a new school building for NOMMA in Federal City.

The board also discussed financial preparations related to the new site.  New companies will be created in order to set up and sell construction bonds. They will include: NOMMA Real Estate, LLC., NOMMA Leverage Lender, LLC., and NOMMA Investors, Inc.

Attorney Jacob S. Capraro, counsel to the board, described the motion: “It authorizes the creation of these three entities, and authorizes Colonel Ebbert to act as the organizer of these entities.”

The board also discussed whether NOMMA should manage the auditorium located within Federal City.  Col. Davis recommended that the school manage the building rather than rent it, so the school would have more use of the facility, as well as rent it to other organizations for income.

“If we charged $1000, ten percent gets set aside that goes into a capital repair fund.  But that capital repair fund is just that.  If something breaks, we get to tap into that fund and fix it,” Davis said.

The board will hold a new budget meeting on August 23, to update and adjust the budget previously passed in April.  “We figured we should do it again in August,” Col. Davis said.  “Across the board, I felt more comfortable if we did another budget meeting.”

Col. Davis introduced staff member Tony Taffaro who co-advises the robotics team, and also helps the school with accounting duties on a part-time basis.

Present were Board President Col. Terry Ebbert, members Carol McCall, Capt. Dave Whiddon, , Courtney Bagneris, Dr. Marcellus Grace, and Maj. General Walter Paulson.  Also present were Commandant Col. Bill Davis, attorney Jacob S. Capraro, counsel to the board, and staff member Tony Taffaro.  Absent were members James Reiss, Eades Hogue, Maj. Blake LeMaire and Lt. Gen. Jack Bergman.

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