GONZALES — Ascension Parish School Board members on Tuesday drew up a list of 14 projects — including three new primary schools and a middle school — they hope will be funded by a $120 million bond proposal going before voters on April 9.
The bond proposal, if passed, would be paid for with an existing 15.08-mill property tax.
The new primary schools would relieve crowding at six primary schools on the east side of the parish now using temporary classroom buildings to help serve anywhere from 700 to more than 900 students at each school.
The district’s ideal enrollment for a primary school is 600.
A new middle school would help relieve crowding for two middle schools with current enrollments of close to 900; the district has set a goal of 750 students at its middle schools.
Board members also hope to begin the process for a new high school one day, with funding on the bond project list for the initial planning and permitting process.
“The first question that comes out of people’s mouth is, ‘When are we getting a new high school?’ ” said board member Troy Gautreau.
The three high schools on the east side of the parish each have enrollments of close to 2,000, just under the district’s optimum high school enrollment goal of 2,200.
At a special meeting Tuesday of the board’s Strategic Planning Committee, the list of following projects was drawn up, to be voted on at the next regular meeting of the School Board, on Oct. 6:
New middle school on Bluff Road, $29.3 million.
New primary school on Germany Road, $17.8 million.
New primary school on La. 73, $16.6 million.
New primary school, possibly near Airline Highway and Swamp Road, $16.1 million.
Final phase of Freshman Academy projects at St. Amant and East Ascension high schools, $12.9 million.
Addition and renovations at Dutchtown Primary, $7.4 million.
Addition and renovations at Lowery Middle, $3.9 million.
Addition and renovations at Ascension Head Start in Donaldsonville, $3 million.
Addition of a gym at Prairieville Middle, $3 million.
Completion of security projects, $3 million.
Renovation of the APPLe Digital Academy (Ascension Parish Program for Learning and e-Instruction) in Darrow, $2.9 million.
Site planning and permitting for a future new high school, $2 million. Construction of the school would require voter approval of another bond issue to be paid with existing property taxes.
Covered playground areas for primary schools, $1.6 million.
Renovation of the old Donaldsonville High School library into classroom and office space, $500,000.
The Ascension Parish School District, which gets about 500 new students each school year, serves 21,000 students at four high schools, seven middle schools, 16 elementary schools, a Head Start Center and an alternative school.
Voters last passed a bond initiative in 2009, when they approved a $100 million bond issue, repaid with property taxes, for major renovations and school construction.