Ascension Parish School Board members plan to go to the State Bond Commission to refinance approximately $37 million of general obligation bonds to take advantage of current low interest rates.

The bonds for school facility projects were originally issued in 2007 and 2008 — a time when interest rates were higher — at between 4 and 5.5 percent, Jerry Osborne, the School Board’s bond counsel, said at the Tuesday meeting.

With interest rates below 4 percent, Osborne said the School Board “could save as much as $1.9 million over the life of the issue.”

At the meeting, School Board members also agreed to extend the emergency agreement with parish government for five years, through December 2019.

Under the terms of the agreement, the School Board would give the parish government access to school facilities that could be used as storm shelters. The parish government would coordinate with the School Board to get school buses and drivers should transportation be required for residents during storms or other emergencies.

School district staff and board members also honored School Superintendent Patrice Pujol in recognition of her recently being named Louisiana’s Superintendent of the Year by the Louisiana Association of School Executives and the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents.

Susan Vaughn, director of special education, who spoke on behalf of the school district’s central office directors, commended Pujol for the “great job she has done with her vision and support to improve the lives of our students.”