Livingston — In its final meeting of the calendar year, the Livingston Parish School Board set the stage for expansions in Albany and acted on several major issues.
In addition to calling for a tax election in Springfield, board member Sid Kinchen, who represents the Albany district, revealed plans to build a new elementary school north of town. Next month, he will ask the School Board to call for a district tax and bond election, to be held April 9, the same day the Springfield issue will go to a vote.
The proposed property taxes in the Springfield and Albany areas will be voted on and, if approved, collected from only residents in those districts.
Kinchen aims to issue between $13 million to 14 million in bonds, to be funded through a new property tax, though he said the specific millage amount would be discussed in January.
About half of the funds would pay for the new elementary campus. With the remaining amount, he plans to build a new gym at Albany Middle, add classrooms at Albany High and make technology and library updates to the existing elementary school.
“We have some real needs in our community. … Our schools have some age on them,” Kinchen said. “We’re trying to give every school some improvements and some upgrades.”
A new campus would also help alleviate some of the crowding that has been an issue across the parish.
The School Board also discussed ongoing or upcoming construction at four other schools, in addition to the Albany and Springfield proposals.
The board accepted a $377,000 bid to renovate the interiors of the gym, cafeteria and special-needs building at the Holden School as part of an ongoing $567,000 renovation of the campus and its historic gym.
Board members also approved the transfer of three transportation employees to new leadership roles as part of a restructuring effort. School officials hope the new plan will improve bus repair time and help the system plan routes that keep pace with residential development.
The department has filed the positions of shop manager, mechanics manager and office manager but still needs to hire a routing analyst, Transportation Supervisor Steve Vampran said.
In other business, the School Board approved the purchase of a satellite truck for Walker High School, so the student TV station can take its show on the road, filing live reports from off-campus events, said Principal Jason St. Pierre.
The school bought the 1996 Ford van at an auction for $2,500, he said.
It previously belonged to the Bossier City Community College. Board member Jimmy Watson said only teachers will be allowed behind the wheel.
The board also appointed Daniel Desselle as assistant principal at North Corbin Junior High and Chad Broussard as principal at Pathways, the parish’s alternative school in Walker.
Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.