GONZALES — The Ascension Parish School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to issue the second in what eventually will be five rounds of general obligation bonds.
Each round will generate $20 million, for a total of $100 million during a period of five years, according to system documents.
The funds will pay for building a series of school improvement projects affecting 22 campuses, said Business Services Director Diane Allison.
The system’s Planning and Construction Department has already either made plans for or begun projects totaling $44 million since 2009, when Ascension Parish voters approved the 20-year bonds.
They will be repaid through a 15-mill property tax.
Bond attorney Jerry Osborne told the board that bids will be accepted Dec. 6 for this round, and the funding will be in the bank by January.
Other matters coming before the board included:
NEW DATA CENTER: The board unanimously approved a low bid of $522,800 for a new data center near Pecan Grove Primary School’s campus.
The center will provide a new home for the system’s computer servers, said Chad Lynch, director of Planning and Construction.
The servers are currently housed in a room retrofitted for the purpose at the B.C. Alwes building in Donaldsonville.
The system’s technology has outgrown the space in the old building, Lynch said. The new center will include office space for the Technology Department’s personnel and a backup generator in case of power failures.
While the department had budgeted $450,000 for the project initially, Lynch said, costs began to increase, and the projected price tag rose to $600,000.
Lynch said his department sent the plans back to the architects to trim expenses, and the revised plan received a low bid of $485,800 from Joffrion Commercial Division.
A backup generator added another $37,000 to the cost, Lynch said, but the excess costs will be covered by funding for other projects that came in under budget.