GONZALES — Galvez Middle is seeing some of the most ambitious construction projects in the Ascension Parish school district right now.
And while not all of it will be ready in time for the opening of school on Aug. 6, students will have a lot to look forward to.
One of the most striking changes that’s close to completion, said Chad Lynch, planning and construction director for the school district, was the turning of the school’s football field 90 degrees, to accommodate a new administration building to come.
“It used to run north-south; now it’s east-west,” Lynch said of the football field.
The field might not be quite ready in time for the start of the football season, but the school has contingency plans to hold games at other locations if needed, he said.
What used to be the southern half of the old football field will now be the site of a new administration building; the slab of the building has been poured.
The old administration building will be turned into new classroom space.
Reroofing of the school’s two-story classroom building also was completed this summer.
At Prairieville Middle, students will begin classes in their regular classroom buildings from last year, while work continues on an addition of new classrooms, offices and a library, expected to be open during the school year.
The school’s gym, band hall and two classroom buildings will remain, while the oldest of the classroom buildings will come down once the addition is ready.
At Lake Elementary, construction will be underway, as school begins, on a project to double the size of the library. The library will operate, for a few months, out of a temporary building on campus.
The school’s kitchen was renovated over the summer to create three serving lines, instead of the 1½ that were there before.
Maintenance projects completed this summer include the replacing of the bleachers at the East Ascension High School football stadium.
The school district also did a “whole lot of driveway repairs,” Lynch said.
New temporary buildings in the district have brought a total of 16 new classrooms to three schools, Lynch said.
Spanish Lake Primary and Central Primary schools both got two temporary buildings, with four classrooms in each.
Dutchtown High also got an eight-classroom T-building.
“It’s the only structure like that we have,” Lynch said.
The football fields at St. Amant and East Ascension high schools will be improved with a superior variety of grass for the coming football season.
Both fields were graded, and planting has been completed at St. Amant High School. It’s anticipated that the grass will grow in time for the school’s football jamboree at the end of August, Lynch said.
The field at East Ascension High School is expected to be planted in the next few days, and the field should be ready by the first football game at the end of September, Lynch said.
Work on the projects couldn’t begin until graduation ceremonies on the fields were finished in May, Lynch said.
Looking ahead, architectural designs are underway for the new Freshman Academy buildings that will be going up at St. Amant, East Ascension and Dutchtown high schools.
The designs might be ready by January, Lynch said, then the bid process can begin.