St. Thomas More Catholic High School is looking to expand onto adjacent property to the south toward Verot School Road. To accommodate the growth, the school wants to extend Frem Boustany Road from Farrel Road across its tract behind Huntington Park Subdivision to Edinburgh Drive — an idea unsettling some neighborhood residents. At the June 8 Planning Commission meeting, STM won preliminary approval for its plat, with the condition that the school pay the cost for the road’s extension. Hoping to avoid that out-of-pocket expense, STM is appealing the decision, which will be heard by the City-Parish Council at its July 28 meeting.
Meanwhile, councilman Don Bertrand has been fielding complaints from some area residents who oppose the idea due to the added traffic it may bring down Frem Boustany and the effect it will have on Huntington Park and L.O. Peck neighborhoods. Bertrand hosted a town hall meeting on Saturday for residents to air concerns. “I’m trying to get residents involved now so we can work together on this,” he says. Bertrand has posted comments from the meeting on his Web site, donbertrand.com. The councilman says not all residents oppose the road, but many are pushing for some traffic calming elements to be incorporated.
Reached this morning, STM Dean of Students Rich Lane was tight-lipped about the school’s expansion plans, stressing that the issue is still pending. “We’re kind of in limbo right now,” he says. “Until you get that plat, you really can’t identify what you’re putting there.” The application submitted to the Planning Commission for preliminary plat approval states that the school wants to develop the property for campus expansion, parking and athletic fields.