Iberia Parish boad forging ahead with plans for new elementary school _lowres


The Iberia Parish School Board recently purchased 22 acres for a new elementary school to help alleviate overcrowding of area schools, said Iberia Parish Schools Superintendent Dale Henderson.

The total cost for the school project is $13 million. The board’s next step toward possibly opening the school sometime in the 2017-18 school year is hiring architects to design the 60,000- to 70,000-square foot building, Henderson said.

The pre-K to sixth grade school will be built adjacent to Belle Place Middle School. The new school’s zone will likely include parts of zones for North Lewis, Magnolia, Daspit and Dodson Elementary schools, Henderson said.

“We have overcrowding at North Lewis,” Henderson said. “That school is about 700 students and is the third largest school in the district. There’s been a need. We’ve seen in recent years the population in the parish migrating from south of Highway 90 because of past storms and potential flooding issues. We’ve seen a migration of students from south of Highway 90 to north of 90, which is where this school will be.”

The school is funded by a $50 million bond proposition approved by Iberia Parish voters in 2013 that also funded new technology and renovations of other schools.

“This is the eighth school in as many years,” Henderson said.

New construction, major renovations and technology and security upgrades are funded by smaller bond propositions approved by voters over the years using an existing 21.9-mil property tax to issue general obligation bonds.

The 2013 bond measure has also included the construction of new stadiums for New Iberia’s two high schools — Westgate High and New Iberia Senior High, which previously shared a community stadium.

In 2009, voters approved a $60 million bond issue for new construction, renovations and upgrades that also included the construction of two new elementary schools.

Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.