GONZALES — The Ascension Parish School Board took a stab Tuesday at finalizing the list of projects it hopes to build with a $120 million bond it plans to bring before voters on April 9.
The School Board has an Oct. 20 deadline to notify the state Bond Commission of the bond election to get the issue included on the April ballot.
The bond, if it passes, would be paid for with an existing 15.08 millage.
Many of the projects that would be paid for with the bond money were in a plan the previous School Board drew up as part of a long-term strategic plan to address problems of overcrowding in a school district that gets approximately 500 new students every school year.
“These are projects we’ve already been looking at,” said Planning and Construction Director Chad Lynch.
But the final list isn’t set in stone, and School Board members will be studying further needs, presented Tuesday by Lynch.
Six primary schools on the east bank of Ascension Parish are past the enrollment goal of 600 students. Some of the schools serve more than 900 children, with the help of classrooms in temporary buildings.
Three new primary schools under consideration would each cost in the neighborhood of $16 million to $17 million.
A new middle school, at a cost of $29.3 million, is also proposed. Two of the school district’s middle schools are approaching or are beyond the enrollment goal of 900 students.
Other candidates for a final list of projects for the bond election, along with the estimated costs:
Planning and site development for a future new high school to relieve overcrowding at the three east side high schools, $8 million.
An addition and renovation for the Ascension Head Start program building, located in Donaldsonville, $3 million.
A renovation of the Darrow location of the district’s alternative school called the APPLe Digital Academy (Ascension Parish Programs for Learning and eInstruction), $4.5 million.
School Board members will be meeting again on Sept. 29 to try to finalize the project list.