St. Augustine High School Foundation To Create Multi-Million Dollar Practice Facility With Initial Loan From The Galatoire Foundation

St. Augustine High School, 2600 A P Tureaud Ave.

NEW ORLEANS – The newly-formed St. Augustine High School Foundation – New Orleans has acquired property at 2525 St. Bernard Ave., to create a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art practice facility for St. Augustine High School.

         With an initial bridge loan from The Galatoire Foundation, the St. Augustine High School Foundation – New Orleans purchased the property through donations from the local business community, including lead gifts from Frank and Paulette Stewart and an anonymous foundation. Major donors also include Raising Cane’s owner and founder Todd Graves, New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owners Tom and Gayle Benson, The New Orleans Advocate owners Dathel and John Georges, Boysie Bollinger, Joseph Canizaro, Tommy Coleman, Harvey Gulf International Marine, and Jeff Doussan.

         The St. Augustine High School Foundation – New Orleans was established by the V. Rev. Michael Thompson, SSJ Superior General, and a group of alumni including Dr. Dwight McKenna, Justin Augustine, Sherman Copelin, Dean Baquet, Arnold Donald and WBOK-AM owner Danny Bakewell.  

         Prior to the formation of the St. Augustine High School Foundation – New Orleans, St. Augustine High School received a million-dollar gift from Arnold Donald, chief executive officer of Carnival Cruise Lines and St. Augustine graduate.

         The acquired property encompasses an entire city block and is located at the former site of the Doussan Company at Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue. It is adjacent to St. Augustine High School. The site features a number of sports and training amenities, including an NFL-quality playing and training surface, which was installed in 2016. It will continue to be used by athletic teams at St. Augustine High School. St. Augustine’s famous Marching 100 Band will also utilize this rejuvenated property, as they prepare for performances throughout the year and Mardi Gras 2018.

         "The acquisition of this property is a game changer for this great institution,” said Justin Augustine, chairman of the board of directors for the St. Augustine High School Foundation – New Orleans. “Having access to these facilities will save our students at least an hour a day. We are so excited for the financial support from the business community, in addition to the resources provided by St. Augustine alumni, all of whom appreciate the contribution that St. Augustine makes to this community. We are very appreciative of Dathel and John Georges and the Galatoire Foundation for taking the initial steps to secure the land and develop it until we were able to secure the support we needed to make this dream a reality. In addition to our football team, this practice facility will benefit St. Augustine's physical education program, other sports and the Marching 100 Band. Improving these programs add significant value to St. Augustine’s history of developing discipline and leadership in young men that make great contributions to New Orleans and the world.”

         “We pursued this blighted property with a vision for a developed green space for students,” said John Georges, member of the board of directors at the school and leader of the donor effort. “We knew we could – in time – rally the business and civic community to enhance their support of St. Augustine High School. Donors from every corner of New Orleans responded incredibly. The young men of St. Augustine are the future leaders of our city. This property and the facilities will be second to none in New Orleans and become an essential part of what it means to be a part of St. Augustine High School.”

         Work on the site began in 2015. Warehouses abandoned as a result of Hurricane Katrina were removed, and a state-of-the-art grass turf field was installed by Rotolo Consultants, who have built many practice and sport facilities in the city for local high schools, universities and the National Football League. Locally-owned All Star Electric installed the lighting for the field.

         For many years, the St. Augustine football team and other school programs have had to use facilities in other parts of New Orleans, hurting practice time and extending the student’s day, school reps said.

         St. Augustine High School has produced more than 40 NFL-bound athletes, including 2015 NFL All-Pros and former LSU players Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals and Trai Turner of the Carolina Panthers, as well as Alfred Jenkins, a member of the legendary 1974 undefeated Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins. Star running back and St. Augustine alumnus Leonard Fournette was drafted earlier this year by the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, following a record-setting career at LSU.

         Created in 2010, the Galatoire Foundation establishes a framework for the restaurant’s numerous community activities and donations. The Galatoire Foundation’s community involvement extends across south Louisiana, working through Galatoire’s and Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak in New Orleans, and Galatoire’s Bistro in Baton Rouge.

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