ST. FRANCISVILLE — After a lengthy discussion about erosion issues on West Feliciana Parish Middle School’s campus, the School Board approved the recommendation of an architect to take steps that will remedy the situation.
Architect Ryan Faulk, of Holly & Smith Architects, presented a plan Tuesday that he estimated will cost roughly $92,800 to repair two problem areas that if left as they are, would get worse with time.
The primary problem area is the sidewalk by the cafeteria entrance on the way to the main middle school building. Over the 16 years since the school was placed into service, rain water has slowly washed away soil and supporting dirt by the sidewalk that is next to a gradual slope. Because of constant wear and tear from student pedestrian traffic, the grass has worn away, also worsening the problem.
Faulk recommended retaining terraces should be placed to build up the area by the sidewalk and a few more drains added to allow rainwater to flow properly.
A second area of concern is on the side entrance of the gym where the water previously overflowed from gutters that were cluttered with bird nests and organic material. Water washed out a small area underneath part of the concrete sidewalk. He recommended it be fixed with a French drain and now that the gutters are properly maintained, water will properly go down the spout.
“I knew we were going to have to do this eventually,” Superintendent Hollis Milton said.
The board agreed to advertise for bids for the project, which Faulk said should take 60 to 90 days, will take place over the summer.
In other action, the board approved hiring one part-time and five full-time employees to staff Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant initiatives for another year. Milton said he expects the federal government will eventually reimburse the school system the costs for those positions.
The board also agreed to hire seven new positions, including a special education intensive services paraprofessional for Bains Lower Elementary, two special education teachers for Bains Elementary, a music teacher at the middle school, a speech teacher at the high school, a paraprofessional at the Alternative school and a college/career paths coordinator at the high school.