DONALDSONVILLE — The Ascension Parish School Board will discuss at its Aug. 4 meeting whether to begin a search for a site to relocate Donaldsonville Primary School.
During a Strategic Planning Committee meeting Tuesday, discussion about possible projects for an April 2016 bond proposal turned to possibly including a new campus for the west bank school.
Board member Robyn Penn Delaney, who represents the Donaldsonville area, has expressed concern about the school’s proximity to a nearby CF Industries fertilizer facility.
“Accidents aren’t planned,” she said. “We need to be proactive and consider building on a safer site.”
The school and the CF plant have been standing in close proximity for years without any major reported problems.
Delaney has recently suggested that a new campus in a different location could also house the district’s Head Start program, currently located at the former Donaldsonville High School campus.
Superintendent Patrice Pujol said she and some board members have spoken to Parish President Tommy Martinez about concerns with the nearby industry.
“No matter where you build, there will be risks,” she said.
Committee Chairman Shawn Sevario asked system planning and construction head Chad Lynch if such a project could be funded if a proposed high school would be removed from the bond project list, to which Lynch replied that it could be possible.
Board member Taft Kleinpeter suggested members meet with Martinez, parish emergency preparedness officials and CF Industries leaders regarding possible options for the school site.
“If it needs to be added to the (bond) list, let’s look at it,” Kleinpeter said. “CF may be interested in the land.”
In other matters, the board’s Athletic Committee heard from the system’s four high school athletic directors, who provided statistics on their student-athletes’ successes in the classroom.
Each of the schools — East Ascension, Donaldsonville, Dutchtown and St. Amant — reported that all of their senior-year student-athletes in the 2014-15 school year graduated.
Also, in calling for an Insurance Committee meeting for Aug. 4, board member John Murphy said the committee needs to discuss possible changes to the school system’s health insurance policies.