An occasionalseries followingthe start-up of the Priestlycharter high school
A CARROLLTON NEIGHBORHOOD GROUP IS TRYING TO TURNA LONG-CLOSED SCHOOL INTO A CUTTING EDGE CHARTERSCHOOL FOCUSING ON THE CONSTRUCTION TRADES
Empty shells littering floorsare a reminder of whenthe school was used forpolice training.
By Steve Ritea
Pigeons roost in the light fixtures hangingin third-floor classrooms of the long-aban-doned Alfred C. Priestley Middle School.On a floor dotted with the birds’ drop-pings and littered with books and com-puter equipment from another era, a col-lection of photographic slides strewnabout offer frames of the life that filled thebuilding a generation ago: smiling chil-dren gathered for a Christmas celebra-tion, a man wiping a little girl’s nose, ameeting of adults clad in polyester suits with wide ties or sporting beehive hairdos.“This is a community’s memories,” saidOrleans Parish School Board memberUna Anderson, bending over to gather upeach one, “right here.”In a district where many schools were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, anundamaged building like Priestley has
STAFF PHOTOS BY CHRIS GRANGER
Una Anderson, left, a member of the Orleans Parish School Board, Jean Fischer of Carrollton United andSue Burge of local nonprofit agency School to Career Inc., look at slides found on a classroom floor in aban-doned Alfred C. Priestley Middle School. Priestley is among New Orleans’ first wave of charter applications.