W.W. Lewis Middle to get $5.7M in FEMA hurricane funds

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 29, 2022

By Emily Burleigh

American Press

W.W. Lewis Middle School will be receiving $5,796,062.96 in recovery funding for repairs needed after Hurricanes Laura and Delta made landfall nearly two years ago.

“The obligation of approximately $5.7 million related to W.W. Lewis represents a reimbursement of repair costs validated thus far by FEMA,” said Wilfred Bourne, the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s chief financial officer. “The total repair cost of W.W. Lewis is expected to be about $20.8 million. We will continue working with FEMA to validate the remainder of the costs related to the storm.”

This is part of a larger amount of funding that was announced by the U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins on July 19, who said an additional $12.8 million for Hurricanes Laura and Delta recovery efforts are being awarded by FEMA.

“We have worked very closely with the Calcasieu Parish School Board and FEMA to deliver recovery funding,” Higgins said. “While nearly $140 million has been approved, CPSB has several outstanding public assistance applications that are being held up by FEMA’s bureaucracy.”

He said he and his office have consistently communicated with FEMA’s Region 6 team, and that FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell has been spoken to personally regarding the expedition of the outstanding reimbursements for CPSB.

“My office is working to push those applications through,” he continued. “CPSB suffered storm damage at 76 schools and each damaged building within those campuses requires individual applications for reimbursement as well as documentation of damages and assessment of loss.”

“It’s a daunting task, however, CPSB administrators have done heroic work, and my office will not rest until Calcasieu Parish schools are fully restored and every pending application is resolved,” he added.

According to the his office, Higgins has announced the following FEMA funds for hurricane recovery efforts in addition to the recently announced funding:

$5,514,565.30 for emergency protective measures, including temporary roof repairs, in response to Hurricane Laura — announced Aug. 18, 2021

$5,760,030.31 for emergency protective measures, including temporary roof repairs, in response to Hurricane Laura — announced Aug. 18, 2021

$23,749,254.82 for remediation and emergency protective measures in response to Hurricane Laura at 33 campuses on the west side of the parish — announced Oct. 7, 2021

$36,012,699.40 for remediation and emergency protective measures in response to Hurricane Laura at 43 campuses on the east side of the parish — announced Oct. 7, 2021

$27,413,599.63 for remediation and emergency protective measures in response to Hurricane Laura at 43 campuses on the east side of the parish — announced Oct. 7, 2021

$25,265,338.75 for remediation and emergency protective measures in response to Hurricane Laura at 33 campuses on the west side of the parish — announced Oct. 7, 2021

$6,523,262.41 to CPSB for management costs in response to Hurricane Laura — announced Dec. 8, 2021

$2,923,904.94 to CPSB in public assistance reimbursements for hurricane recovery efforts — announced July 7, 2022.