Armed with $685 million in recovery cash,New Orleans public school leaders aim to radically remake the city's bloated portfolio of aged school buildings, most of them rotted as badly from neglect and plummeting enrollment as from the final blow of a biblical flood. The flood that resulted in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina cleared the way -- financially and politically -- for the largest school construction effort in the city's modern history. The schools' master plan calls for the construction or complete renovation of 28 schools in about five years, including eight new high schools. The plan also calls for closing or liquidating dozens of buildings -- for instance, cutting the number of high school campuses in half -- to create a more efficient system. All told, more than 50 existing buildings would be sold or put to new uses as part of a $1.8 billion, six-phase facilities plan designed to span three decades. To read The New Orleans Times-Picayune article, click here.