MONROE — Ouachita Parish School Board members have approved a $2.2 million project to renovate and expand Richwood Junior High and Richwood High School.

Board members voted 6-1 on Thursday to add a weight room at the junior high and a vocational building at the high school. The board also approved renovations to the school’s athletic field house.

The board also agreed to the alternates to the base bid, which included a covered walkway, covered concrete running surface, painting interior and exterior walls at the field house and adding brick wainscoting to the exterior of two buildings.

“Is this a need?” Norris asked. “Is it a need or is it a want?”

“We are not asking for something you don’t see at other schools,” said John Russell, who represents the schools on the board.

The board previously considered the project, which was over budget, but declined to vote when board members disagreed about whether the alternates should be included.

In the previous meeting, Superintendent Bob Webber expressed concern over repairs that he said needed to be done to restrooms and the exterior of Swayze Elementary.

Thursday, Webber said business director Juanita Duke said they had found the money to cover the cost of the entire Richwood project along with the repairs to Swayze.

The money to complete all of the work will come from a bond issue and the sale of timber.

Richwood Junior High was built two years ago, while Richwood High School was built eight years ago.