December 2009

Ursuline Academy

THE PROJECT

In December 2009, AMCREF Community Capital (AMCREF), provided $5.7 million of NMTC financing to the non-profit Ursuline Academy (Ursuline), a 283-year-old, pre-K through 12th grade school for girls in New Orleans, LA. Ursuline used the funds to develop a new Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) featuring state-of-the-art and cutting edge best practices, methodologies and theories in early childhood development. The ECLC is located in a building on the school’s campus that was flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and remained vacant. Since 48% fewer childcare facilities remained in Orleans Parish post-Katrina, the need for additional ECLCs was imperative. Ursuline works with a local university’s education program that’s dedicated to serving LICs/LIPs childcare needs. Through this partnership the ECLC provides onsite mentoring, observing and teaching opportunities to teachers and staff of other early childhood development centers serving LICs/LIPs throughout the New Orleans area. Ursuline incorporated numerous LEED certifiable “green” and flood resistant building features helping to ensure the sustainability of the facility.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

  • Job Creation and Support: 96 direct FTEs maintained and 3 FTEs created with average annual wages well above the local living wage, benefits and job training; 34 construction jobs
  • Services to LICs/LIPs: Ursuline and its new ECLC provides education and childcare benefits to both LIPs and residents of LICs, serving over 770 students and 100 children at the ECLC. The school’s tuition is less than many non-public schools in the New Orleans area and offers a more affordable option for many families.
  • Catalytic Effects/Future Projects: As part of the Ursuline Sisters’ mission, Ursuline is committed to assisting women, minority and/or LIP-owned businesses. Therefore, Ursuline’s ECLC is working closely with local universities and other childcare facilities throughout New Orleans to provide mentoring, observation and cutting-edge best practices training programs.

LEED Certifiable Features: Rehabilitating an unused historic building on campus, the facility used recycled building materials, numerous efficiency features, flood-proof building materials and interior floodwalls making the facility both “green” and highly sustainable.