The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) is suing the State of Louisiana and the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors, claiming that the state did not pay full value for a campus it bought from the school board.

The suit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court seeks to stop the state from tearing down the former school building for development in part of the new University Medical Center.

"Constructed in 1878, it is believed that McDonough No. 11 is one of the oldest continuously operating public school buildings in the United States," the suit claims.

The OPSB spent some $3 million repairing the McDonough No. 11 school after hurricane Katrina, according to the suit. After Katrina, the building housed the 450-student Priestly Charter School.

The lawsuit claims that the state's $2.4 million bid to buy the property "was grossly inadequate as it was significantly less than the cost of the recently completed renovations and the replacement cost of a similarly sized school."

The state informed the OPSB that the Priestly Charter School had to vacate the McDonough 11 building by Dec. 30. As a result, the school has been moved to a temporary location in New Orleans East, the suit claims.

The defendant's actions "constitute inverse condemnation" and the plaintiffs seek replacement costs to build a high school for Priestly, including moving costs.

New Orleans attorneys Brent Barriere, Harry Rosenberg, Skylar Rosenbloom and Caroline Spangler filed the petition for damages March 30.

Orleans Parish Judge Paulette Irons has been assigned this case.

Orleans Parish Case 2011-03281

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