Livingston — The Livingston Parish School Board hopes to raise more than $400,000 by increasing the price of school lunches next year.
During Thursday’s meeting, the board voted unanimously to charge an extra 25 cents for breakfasts and lunches across all grade levels. Breakfast will now cost $1.25, and lunch will cost $2 for elementary students and $2.25 for older children. About half the parish’s students receive free or reduced-price meals, which will not be affected, said Leah Smith, supervisor of the Child Nutrition Program.
The school system pays $2.2 million out of the general fund every year to subsidize school lunches, she said. If schools continue to sell the same number of meals, the cost increase will bring in an additional $452,315 to decrease the amount the parish must spend out of the general fund.
Also on Thursday, the board discussed a number of school additions and improvements. Members accepted a $2.6 million bid to build four new classrooms and a multipurpose building at Southside Elementary School. Board member Buddy Mincey said he expects the project to be completed by the time classes begin in August 2016.
Improvements to Walker High are also in the works. Authorities agreed to seek bids for renovations to the school’s field house. Board member Jimmy Watson said he is eager to begin construction on the new classrooms and support buildings that will make up the majority of the project and said he expects to review a complete design in a few months.
“It’s a huge, $20 million project. I want to get it right,” he said.
The board also accepted the results of a parishwide election held this month that renewed a 10-year, 7-mill property tax to finance maintenance projects. Seventy-six percent of the votes cast were in support of the millage and, according to documents provided Thursday night, the measure won at every polling place except Precinct 15 in Killian.
The School Board also accepted a number of retirements, including those of Denham Springs Elementary Principal Eric Dimari and Principal James Forbes, of the Frost School. Stephanie Kinchen, parishwide school food service supervisor and wife of board member Sid Kinchen, also announced her retirement.
The board promoted Beth Jones to principal of Live Oak High, where she had been assistant principal.
The parish’s teachers and principals of the year also were recognized. Honors went to teachers Amanda Robinson, of Doyle Elementary; Troy Glorioso, of Springfield Middle; and Delanea Gates, of Live Oak High. Principal of the year recognition was given to Debbie Tate, of Albany Upper Elementary School; Bryan Tyler Wax, of Denham Springs Junior High; and Jason St. Pierre, of Walker High.
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