Work to give overcrowded Lafayette Parish schools extra classroom and lunchroom space continues this summer, with some projects expected to be ready for students’ return next month.
The projects are part of a $30 million bond issue to fund improvements and expansions at six schools in the district.
The final phases of two projects in Youngsville are nearing completion on the overcrowded campuses of Youngsville Middle and Green T. Lindon Elementary schools.
In January, students at Lindon moved into two new classroom buildings that replaced temporary buildings. Construction of a third and final classroom building continues and will be complete after the start of the school year, said Kyle Bordelon, district facilities and planning director. Finishing touches are underway on the expansion of the school’s cafeteria, and the lunchroom will be ready when school starts Aug. 13, he said. The $9 million construction project at Lindon also includes a new administrative building, renovations and an expanded parking lot for faculty.
At nearby Youngsville Middle, newly constructed classrooms created more room on the campus in the past school year and construction of an additional six to seven classrooms is expected to be complete by the start of school in August, Bordelon said.
Both schools were operating without the additional classroom space and have the capacity to place students in existing classrooms for the start of the school year, he added.
Construction on another cramped campus — L.J. Alleman Middle — continues into the school year on a new, larger cafeteria that will double as the school’s auditorium.
“The gymnasium at Alleman and locker rooms are being air-conditioned, and the contractor says that will be ready by the start of school,” Bordelon said.
The $9 million expansion at David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy is complete, and teachers have started moving into a new science wing on the campus. The school — with middle and high school students — is housed in the former N.P. Moss Middle School and didn’t have adequate lab space for the academy’s high school science courses. The project also funded the construction of an engineering lab, as well as a larger parking lot for faculty and its high school students.
The bond issue also funded restroom renovations at Lafayette High, as well as the construction of additional storage space for the school’s band and chorus departments. Both of those projects are ongoing.
“The restroom renovations will extend into the school year, but the contractor is working steady to demolish and refurbish several bathrooms this summer that should be online by the time school starts,” Bordelon said.
Northside High received more than $2 million in improvements such as an elevator, gym air conditioning, new windows, lab renovations and a stadium fence. Those are completed.
The School Board recently approved a $10 million bond sale to fund the purchase of new buses and to serve as the seed funding for plans to build a new high school in the southern part of the parish, as well as more school improvements.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.