The Lafayette Parish School Board is moving quickly on its plans to build a new high school and more classroom wings at a few of its schools.
An advertisement for architectural design services for the projects was published Friday — days after the board approved the projects during its meeting Wednesday. The advertisement is a request for qualifications, which should be submitted by 2 p.m. June 19 to the School Board office.
The school is the first new high school in the district in more than 40 years and the first public high school in the Broussard/Youngsville area. Students who live in that area are zoned for Comeaux High, where nearly 2,000 students attend classes.
The high school will be the first construction project on 600 acres of board-owned property in Youngsville, an area that has seen record growth and where the existing schools are woefully overcrowded. The former School Board committed nearly half of a $30 million bond sale to expand campuses at Youngsville Middle and Green T. Lindon Elementary in Youngsville to address crowded campuses.
The School Board’s bonding capacity is $94 million, and staff divvied up the majority of the pot of available funding to the high school, estimating it could cost about $65 million to build a school for about 1,750 students. That’s without outdoor athletic facilities, such as a stadium and ballfields — and the price tag could change pending the needs of the school and its design, Superintendent Donald Aguillard told board members at Wednesday’s meeting.
The new high school receives priority funding, with the classroom additions at three other schools dependent on how much money remains.
The board set a priority order for those remaining projects:
Plantation Elementary: 30 new classrooms with a new cafeteria, a remodel of the existing cafeteria to create an activity room, and a remodel and expansion of the existing library
Milton Elementary/Middle: New classroom wing of 35 to 40 classrooms, enlarged cafeteria and construction of new parent pickup area. An expansion of the gym or a new activity room for the gym also will be considered.
Katharine Drexel Elementary: Initial construction phase of 28 to 30 new classrooms with a second phase to include replacement of the existing 18 classrooms, new cafeteria, library and an activity room.
School officials also are working on a comprehensive zoning plan to help balance school enrollments across the district.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.