LUTCHER — The St. James Parish School Board may put construction of a new football stadium at St. James High School on hold while the board weighs the possibilities of building a new high school and athletics complex.

The board on Tuesday authorized Superintendent Alonzo Luce and board President Charles Nailor Sr. to negotiate with property owners for the possible purchase of land as a site for a new high school.

The School Board is eyeing land near La. 3127 in Vacherie.

About 50 acres are needed as a site for a new high school and athletic facilities, Luce said after the meeting.

Because a new high school would cost about $30 million to build, the School Board would have to “go back to the taxpayers” to fund the costs, Luce said.

The School Board already has put construction of a new $2 million football stadium at the high school’s current site in St. James out to bid, Luce said.

That action would have to be rescinded by the School Board if it is determined the best option would be to construct a new high school or stadium in a different location, Luce said.

In November, arsonists set the football stadium at Lutcher High School ablaze, causing severe damage.

The stadium is being rebuilt, and the School Board decided to build a new stadium at St. James High School as well.

Acting on a recommendation of its Building Committee, the School Board voted 6-0 to authorize Luce and Nailor to negotiate with land owners for the possible purchase of land for the construction of a new school site.

School Board member George Nassar Jr. was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

Other matters taken up by the board included:

MILLAGE RATES The School Board adopted a millage rate for the 2011 tax year of 43.96 mills.

LSU AGRICULTURAL CENTER: The School Board unanimously decided to provide $8,000 annually through 2014 to the LSU Agricultural Center for a 20 percent salary match for Extension Service agents working and providing programs in the parish.

The School Board previously provided $3,000 annually but increased the amount to $8,000 at the AgCenter’s request to bridge a funding gap.