Official: Work won’t hamper traditional pond jump _lowres

Photo provided by Lester Kenyon -- A pump continues to drain the pond on Worthy Road Oct. 8 while crews prepare to install a foundation wall for the parish’s new administration building next to the pond. Officials said the pond’s level will be restored to its normal level and will not prevent next spring’s East Ascension High School senior pond jump.

Parish officials don’t want fans of the annual East Ascension High school pond jump to worry about the future of the long-standing Spartan tradition.

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said construction at the site of the pond jump and lowering of the water in the pond, which sits across the street from East Ascension High School, won’t prevent the annual last day of school leap for seniors.

Construction is underway on the parish’s new administration building and the pond was temporarily pumped down to a lower level so crews can continue construction near that area.

For years, a hospital sat in front of the pond. On the last day of the school year for seniors, the costumed-clad students would dash across the street and swim its length as hundreds of parents, friends and spectators watched.

Mike Petty, parish senior project manager for the administration building, said the pond is being drained to a lower level so crews can install a deep foundation wall for the building along the pond’s south end.

Petty said the pond’s water level will be restored to its normal height and will not hamper plans for East Ascension High School’s annual spring pond jump.

“The new facility will also need a dry area so crews can erect scaffolding at that location for construction,” Petty said. “We want the community to know there won’t be any problems when May arrives. The E.A. seniors will be able to plunge into the pond as they always have in the past. Our contractors are well aware of that tradition and nothing will prevent that from happening next spring.”