Lusher prepares for $17.5 million renovation

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Lusher Charter School is on track to receive long-awaited structural renovations.

Kathy Riedlinger, Lusher’s chief executive officer, told the school’s board Saturday that Orleans Parish School Board has awarded the so-called “stabilization” funds the school needs to shore up the Willow and Freret Street campuses.

Riedliner said that $14 million will go to shore up Lusher’s Freret Street campus, and $3.5 million will be spent on the Willow Street campus.

As of now, the plan includes fixing the school’s plumbing, replacing water fountains, and repairing intercom system.

Though Lusher’s board, called Advocates for Arts Based Education, has not decided finalized all of its renovation plans, the board is considering some changes proposed by experts at Tulane City Center at Tulane University’s School of Architecture.

Riedlinger called it a “very expensive master-plan for improvements over the next 20 years.” It is, she said, “Not a plan of what we’re going to do, but a plan of what we could do.”

The board did agree that a new fence was needed around the Freret building. The board is also considering a new bridge, an elevator, and possibly outside lighting.

Riedlinger also announced that Lusher’s per-pupil funding will remain the same as it has for the last five years.

“It’s not good news,” says Riedlinger. “But at least we’re not getting a decrease.”

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