LAFAYETTE — Renovations for The David Thibodaux Career and Technical High School are on hold until the completion of a district-wide review of academics and facilities, Superintendent Pat Cooper said.
Cooper joined the district as its new superintendent last month. He said any decisions on the renovations, estimated at $21 million, will come after planning sessions for the district’s goals for the coming school year.
Thibodaux is a schools of choice program, and enrollment is open to students across the parish. The school offers students the chance to pursue their career interests while earning a high school diploma, industry-based certification and college credit. The high school began in August 2010 with a small class of freshmen and temporarily was located at Acadiana Technical College.
This school year, Thibodaux moved to the former N.P. Moss Middle school site after the November 2010 decision by the then-board to close Moss because of its low performance.
In March, the School Board selected Architects Southwest to design the renovations and expansion of the former Moss site to accommodate the specialized lab areas needed for the high school. In July, the design team estimated the project cost at $21 million and told the board nearly 83,000 more square feet of space was needed for the school based on the educational programming needs. The team’s initial planning was made with input from teachers, students, parents and business community members.
The plan was to phasein the changes so the school could still operate on the campus. The time line to complete the project was set for fall 2013.
Meanwhile, some new pathway career labs were added to the site for sophomores to continue their studies, said Burnell LeJeune, Lafayette Parish School System director of career and technical education.
The curriculum is designed to become more specialized as students advance by grade level.
Those freshmen who began in August 2010 will be juniors in the upcoming school year and will begin their industry-based certification courses.
The school system has maintained its agreement with the technical college to use its technical learning labs, if needed, LeJeune said. The resources of the Career Center would also be available to students, he said.