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Termites complicate campus overhaul; Wright’s return to Napoleon not expected until fall

Sophie B. Wright Charter School isn’t likely to return to Napoleon Avenue in time for the start of the coming school year, directors learned Tuesday at their monthly board meeting. Instead, students will stay at their temporary quarters into the fall.

More problems than expected were discovered at the main campus, including termite damage in four roof trusses.

The board hopes to solicit bids for repair work no later than early April, middle school leader Lawrence Vinnett said in his facilities report to the Institute for Academic Excellence, the board that governs Wright.

The school has been using the former James Weldon Johnson Elementary campus at 1800 Monroe St. while the Napoleon Avenue campus undergoes renovation.

Vinnett said there’s still a chance quick work by contractors will make it possible to meet the original August date for a return to Napoleon Avenue.

“Hopefully they will move at a fast pace and make up for it, so we can stay on track,” he said.

Vinnett said the Monroe Street location was burglarized more than once in January.

In response, the school installed window grates and the break-ins ended, Vinnett said.

The burglaries were linked to a break-in at KIPP Believe Charter School on South Carrollton Avenue, and police have arrested one suspect, Vinnett said.

In other news, school leader Sharon Clark announced that the school marched in 13 parades this Carnival season, earning between $15,000 and $20,000 for uniforms, instruments and upkeep of the band.

The school also had a float in the Oshun parade, which Clark said was a great staff event.

Clark noted that a lot of people sent emails and letters saying how much they missed Wright not being at its Napoleon Avenue campus during Carnival. “We are glad people are missing us. We can’t wait to get back in our building either,” Clark said.

Clark also announced that the school is in compliance with all requirements to qualify as a community learning center. The program provides students with academic enrichment  during non-school hours.

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