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SUNO garners additional $20 million toward rebuilding (757 hits)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved additional project worksheets (PWs) totaling approximately$20 million toward the rebuilding of Southern University at New Orleans. The figure represents an addition to the original obligated or approved PWs that were determined to be $92 million ($64 million of which to be used towards permanent replacement of four new academic buildings) by the time of U.S Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s second visit to SUNO’s campus in August 2009, bringing the new total obligated amount for SUNO since the Storm to $112 million.

“It is good to see that FEMA has finally provided additional funding for permanent buildings on SUNO’s main campus and temporary structures on its Lake campus,” said U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. “In 2009, I visited the campus with Secretary Napolitano and last year, I sent a letter to FEMA requesting additional funding for these facilities. The funding approved by FEMA will help SUNO complete its recovery from Hurricane Katrina and allow it to maintain the outstanding reputation it has built up over the past half-century.”

Approximately $12 million of the new funding will be used to supplement the permanent construction of the four new academic buildings. The buildings include the Millie M. Charles School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development, Sciences, and Arts & Humanities buildings.

The remaining funds will assist the Louisiana Office of Facility Planning & Control (FP&C) to proceed with construction of new, temporary modular buildings on SUNO’s Lake Campus. The new modular facilities will replace the ones that FEMA constructed for SUNO’s use in 2006. As repairs to Park Campus buildings are completed, SUNO community members will transition from the modular buildings and occupy the permanent facilities.

“SUNO has worked closely with FEMA, FP&C and Senator Landrieu’s office for a very long time to reach this milestone on the road to the University’s full recovery. This bodes well for our recovery and rebuilding effort going forward,” said Victor Ukpolo, SUNO’s chancellor.

According to FEMA public assistance officer Eddie Williams, the funding awarded to SUNO will not be impacted by current immediate needs funding restrictions due to a designation of the monies being categorized as emergency work.

“We are one step closer to providing a more suitable short and long term situation for the students and faculty of SUNO,” said Williams. “We are currently working with the FP&C project manager to gather all invoices associated with this work so that it can be appropriately captured in the PWs. These projects represent the highest priorities of SUNO and Chancellor Ukpolo. As always, FEMA is committed to ensuring that SUNO’s recovery is fast-tracked where possible and that maximum latitude is provided to allow for an expeditious recovery process.”

Jerry Jones, assistant commissioner of FP&C, expressed thanks to FEMA for finalizing this agreement, and looks forward to seeing the University recover fully.

“I hope that we can all stand together for the ribbon cutting and rededication and rebirth of the campus and the vital role it serves in this community as a safety net, higher education institution,” said Jones.

PICTURED: SUNO's chancellor, Dr. Victor Ukpolo, walks the main campus with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. (right) and U.S. Sec. of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in April, 2009. Photo by Gus Bennett, Jr.
Posted By: Eddie Francis
Friday, September 9th 2011 at 10:14AM
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