PLAN 78: Article
Third Year in a Row in the Winners’ Circle
Two teams of students from SA+P have won first and second place in the New Orleans Chase Competition, an annual contest showcasing the talents of college students nationwide in supporting and furthering redevelopment of New Orleans communities.
Every year, teams of six to eight students partner with New Orleans-based nonprofits to create feasible, sustainable development proposals for local community efforts. Winning proposals garner awards of $25K, $15K or $10K grants to the nonprofit partner from JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, sponsor of the competition.
This year’s first place team won a $25K grant for the Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Center to expand healthcare in New Orleans East by building a preventative care clinic on Chef Menteur Highway. The second place team won a $15K grant for Broad Community Connections to rehabilitate an abandoned school building into a construction and design center.
In partnership with Tulane University, Mary Queen of Vietnam CDC is already in the process of constructing a health care facility on Chef Menteur Highway that will meet the needs of the underserved populations of New Orleans East. The first-place proposal in this year’s Chase competition calls for a second phase of that development, a 10,000 square foot new construction project called BRIDGE – a health care facility that would provide preventative care and mental health services to low-income and underserved residents of New Orleans East and St. Bernard Parish. The facility would also aim to break down language barriers that sometimes prohibit the area's large Vietnamese and Hispanic populations from attaining medical assistance.
The idea of linking was a signature theme in the second place group's proposal to redevelop the Israel Meyer Augustine school site on South Broad Street as the home of The Priestley School of Architecture and Construction, a charter school that serves at-risk students. A permanent home for the Priestley School — on its fourth location in four years — will allow the school to focus on providing a quality education. The building will also feature a Fabrication Laboratory, or Fab Lab, for high-tech digital fabrication.
The first place team included MCP candidates Mai Dang, Kevin Feeney, Laura Manville, Erik Scanlon and Brian Valle with MArch candidates Yan Ping Wang and Ryan Maliszewski. The second place team included MCP candidates Timothy Bates, Anne Bowman, Caroline Edwards, Anne Emig, Amanda Martin and Aspasia Xypolia with SMArchS candidate Sagarika Suri and MArch candidate Ann Woods; the executive director of their non-profit partner, Broad Community Connections, is alumnus Jeffrey Schwartz (MCP’08). Project advisor for both teams was Karl Seidman, Head of the Housing, Community and Economic Development Group in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
This is the third year in a row that SA+P team members have been among the competition’s winners. Last year's second place proposal was a plan to transform an abandoned building in the Lower 9th Ward into the neighborhood's sole grocery store. In its previous year, the competition awarded $25K to a proposal to begin renovation of the Franz Building to be used as a business incubator and retail shop; that project is now under construction.