NAPOLEONVILLE - The Assumption Parish School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to begin negotiations with the parish Police Jury regarding use of the planned 25,000-square-foot civic center building.

The Police Jury is erecting the new center along La. 308, across from the School Board office and next to Assumption High School.

Joseph Savoie of C.J. Savoie Consulting Engineers said that the parish is set to begin accepting bids on construction of the building as soon as next week.

“The school system needs to enter into negotiations regarding rights of way for the center,” Savoie told the board.

The $6.54 million project is being funded by the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant program.

Because of the center’s proximity to the school, parish officials have approached the board asking to tie into the existing sewer system, Savoie said.

As part of a proposed agreement between the two bodies, Savoie said, parish government would allow the school system use of the facility and upgrade the sewer system in return for use of the sewer system.

“It helps if the parish ties into the system,” Savoie said. “It will keep the system more in use during the months where school is out.”

Savoie said if the anticipated 12- to 13-month construction period is finished on schedule, the building should be ready for occupancy by the end of 2012.

The new building would be used for numerous events such as sporting tournaments, a hurricane evacuation shelter and could also accommodate events such as high school graduation ceremonies, Savoie said.

“The main arena’s capacity alone is 1,100 people, roughly triple the current capacity of Assumption High School’s gymnasium,” Savoie said.

The board is set to see the proposed intergovernmental agreement document at its June 15 meeting, Savoie said.

Other decisions made by the board involved:

SPECIAL MEETING: The board voted to hold a special meeting at noon Friday, June 10, to discuss updates from system supervisors and directors.

“During the summers, we usually get together to discuss a lot of the issues we don’t get the chance to discuss in regular board meetings because there’s not enough time,” Martinez said.

Topics discussed at the special meeting, which will be open to the public, will include human resources, budget and human capital, among others, Martinez said.

Further information, including the meeting location, will be posted at the School Board office in the near future, officials said.