New Orleans Adolescent Hospital to Sell; $35M Overhaul for John McDonough High
By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
The Children’s Hospital of New Orleans has confirmed plans to buy the dilapidated New Orleans Adolescent Hospital (NOAH) at 210 State St. in Uptown. The Times-Picayune reports an expected selling price of $35 million that will generate much needed funds for the state’s public hospital budget
Children’s Hospital has not yet provided specifics on its plans with the adjacent NOAH campus, but it has expressed wishes to expand both inpatient and outpatient healthcare services and to increase staff and education opportunities. In 2011, the children’s healthcare facility served 60,000 underage patients. Children’s currently employs 1,800 people, of which more than 100 are pediatric residents.
Before Katrina, NOAH’s focus was inpatient mental healthcare for children and adolescents. After the hurricane destroyed New Orleans’ mental healthcare infrastructure, adult inpatient care was added, along with outpatient care services. NOAH was closed down in 2009, and its outpatient services were taken over by clinics in Algiers and Mid-City, while inpatient care was transferred to Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville, where costs for the 35 beds could be cut by almost 50 percent. Approximately 200 employees were directly affected by NOAH’s closing.
In education news, Louisiana Superintendent John White announced a $35 million renovation of John McDonogh High School. The century-old building on Esplanade Avenue is set for a takeover by Future Is Now Schools, a non-profit group, which will turn the campus into a charter school. The Steve Barr-spearheaded group plans to aggressively push new technologies in its curriculum. According to a report by The Times-Picayune, students might receive personal iPads for digital textbooks. Barr also plans to offer teaching salaries of approximately $70,000 – 25 percent higher than the average public teaching pay.
Steve Barr is notorious for his work in the Los Angeles public school system. Barr and his former non-profit, Green Dot Public Schools, have turned around 18 campuses. He founded Future Is Now Schools in 2011, after parting with Green Dot due to the organization’s national push.
Photo credit: John McDonogh High School’s Facebook Page