A new driveway between Zachary Early Learning Center and Rollins Place Elementary School will soon be constructed to alleviate carpool traffic that backs up onto Rollins Place.
Members of the Zachary Community School Board approved the project at their meeting Tuesday night.
The district has a $60,000 budget to build a second driveway between the two schools, which are located next to each other on Rollins Place. Traffic in the area is frequently brought to a standstill by vehicles waiting to drop off and pick up children, and the problem has proven difficult to solve with only one driveway.
“We have used many different methods to try to alleviate those problems,” said Superintendent Scott Devillier. “We get better at it, and then it gets worse.”
The new asphalt driveway will be built on school district property along a fence. New carpool procedures will be announced once it is finished.
“That long line of cars that is usually on the road will now be on the asphalt drive,” Devillier said.
He said he hopes the project can be completed by the end of the Thanksgiving holiday.
In other business, the board approved a resolution allowing the refinancing of up to $20 million in bonds that were issued in 2009 and 2010. Nnamdi Thompson, of Government Consultants of Louisiana Inc., said his firm plans to sell the 2009 bonds sometime next month, which should save the district close to $600,000 over the life of the bonds.
Current market conditions are less favorable for the 2010 bonds, Thompson said, but those can be sold later when the market improves.
The board approved a new contract for Devillier that begins Jan. 1, 2017 and is effective through Dec. 31, 2020. The contract raises the superintendent’s base salary to $160,500, ups the monthly travel allowance to $1,000 and includes additional compensation that can be awarded if certain objectives, including maintaining the school district’s A rating and increasing mean ACT scores, are achieved.
Board members voted to adopt the district’s 2016-2017 pupil progression plan, which lays out policies such as student placement, testing and promotion.
They also decided to move school board meetings from the third Tuesday of each month to the first Tuesday, with the exception of January and July, in 2017.
The board recognized Patrick Jenkins, principal of Copper Mill Elementary School, who is resigning effective Oct. 24. He will soon take office as the superintendent of schools in St. Landry Parish, where his family is from.
“It’s exciting, but it’s sad to leave,” said Jenkins, who has worked in various capacities at most of the schools in the Zachary district.
Members of the St. Patrick’s Cub Scout Pack 46 Arrow Light Den led the Pledge of Allegiance and spoke with school board members about their duties afterward for an activity in interviewing elected officials.
All Zachary schools and their offices will be closed for Election Day on Nov. 8.