The Lafayette Parish School Board is considering spending $65,000 to buy about four acres of property behind David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy for the future development of the school system’s newest high school.

The academy is housed on a campus that initially served as a middle school and enrolls students in grades six through 12 interested in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math disciplines. A major expansion is underway to create more classroom and lab space and a workshop area for the specialized instruction on the campus.

At Wednesday’s board meeting, members will consider approving the purchase of two separate parcels of property for sale at the rear of the school.

One parcel of 1.75 acres is priced at $30,200, which is 75 percent of its 2011 appraisal value. A different narrow parcel of nearly 2.3 acres is priced at $28,725, or 50 percent below the appraised value in 2011, according to information provided to board members.

Including inspections and closing costs, the total cost to buy the land could be as much as $65,000, according to information provided with the board meeting agenda.

The agenda item states that the property is being offered at a “substantial discounted price” and the appraiser “has confirmed that there have not been any substantial market events that would have caused the current appraised value to fall below the discounted offer price.”

The property acquisition will enable the school to plan for its future — whether it is used for athletic fields or to meet other needs, said Kyle Bordelon, the school system’s facilities director and acting chief operations officer.

“The property was offered for a reasonable price, so that’s why we decided to pursue it,” Bordelon said.

The purchase could be funded with money from the board’s capital improvements contingency account.

A $9 million expansion of Thibodaux to http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/acadiananews/11461690-123/thibodaux-stem-magnet-academy-expansion">build a new science classroom wing and an engineering lab was funded by a bond sale that has also paid for major expansion and various projects at five other schools.

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