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New Orleans Federal Alliance phased out of its role in the new NOMMA school, leader says

The board of the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy met Thursday in the school’s temporary facility, just days after the school broke ground on construction of its future building.

Both are located within the Federal City development in Algiers.

Col. Bill Davis said that the New Orleans Federal Alliance, a nonprofit created to lead development of the Federal City project, was being phased out of its central role in the development.

Davis explained that the Algiers Development District had been created to oversee the development in the long term, and had ownership of the 75-year lease from the Department of the Navy.

A public-private partnership called the Joint Development Committee has now been created to overcome conflicts between New Orleans Federal Alliance and the Algiers Development District, with appointees from both organizations making up the majority of its board.

Member Eades Hogue asked whether New Orleans Federal Alliance had any outstanding debts to the school. Davis said that the only item was about $42,000 spent upgrading the school’s IT systems.

The upgrades included improvements to the server and wireless access points as well as the installation of an uninterrupted power supply, Davis said.

He said the school would be taking all of that to its new building when it moves. The upgrade was part of a federal E-Rate grant that gives schools discounts on their technology improvements.

New Orleans Federal Alliance also loaned the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy $3.6 million, to be repaid when the school receives federal historic tax credits. Under the terms, New Orleans Federal Alliance will forgive the loan if the school does not achieve historic status, and also agrees to reimburse NOMMA for any expenses in pursuing the tax credits, such as administrative costs.

Davis said that he had made clear to the parties involved at Federal City that the school had done everything it needed to do with respect to the historic tax credits, and it was now their responsibility. Developer HRI/ECC, LLC. is also a key player in pursuing the historic tax credits, as the company specializes in developing historic properties.

Also present were Board President Col. Terry Ebbert, members Carol McCall, Maj. Blake LeMaire, Maj. General Walter Paulson, Dr. Marcellus Grace, Courtney Bagneris, and Capt. Dave Whiddon. Absent were Gen. Jack Bergmann and Mr. James Reiss.

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  • nickelndime

    NOMMA is a Type 2 charter school located on the westbank. The school’s charter was developed, and its nonprofit board was created by Adams and Reese LLP. Technically, you could say that this is a law firm’s charter school and it has access to millions of dollars in public money. This is Paul Pastorek’s former law firm, and Mr. Pastorek was the State Superintendent of Education when the NOMMA charter application was “recommended” to BESE (and approved). Why is NOMMA a member of the Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools when it is a westbank school? All of the other member schools are on the eastbank. BTW, Lee Reid of Adams and Reese (who is counsel for Lycee – another Type 2 charter school) represents the Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools. Now, if you look on the surface, it might be said that all of this legal, but if you look below the surface, it begins to smell.