GONZALES — Donaldsonville Primary School will stay at the location where it’s been for close to 30 years, after a vote to move it farther from industry ended in a tie at Tuesday’s meeting of the Ascension Parish School Board.
It was the second time the board has voted on the issue of whether to keep the primary school at its location on La. 3089 on the west bank of the parish or move it farther from CF Industries, located about a mile from the school.
The issue surfaced as the School Board began looking at a list of construction projects that would go forward if voters approve a new bond the board hopes to put on the ballot next year.
Board member Louis Lambert had asked that the issue of Donaldsonville Primary’s location be taken up again this week, saying he had mistakenly voted earlier this month to keep the school where it is.
That motion, to keep Donaldsonville Primary where it is, passed 6-5 at the Aug. 4 meeting.
On Tuesday, Lambert’s motion to relocate the school received a tie vote.
In those cases, the motion doesn’t prevail, meaning the vote taken Aug. 4 to keep the school in its original home, built in 1986, stands.
The determining factor in Tuesday’s vote was one board member’s changed view on the issue.
Scott Duplechein, who voted two weeks ago against keeping Donaldsonville Primary at its longtime site, this time voted against moving it.
“There were way more people telling me we shouldn’t be doing something (about moving the school) than telling me to do something,” Duplechein said after the meeting.
“Too many people were telling me the school was fine and it would be too much money to invest,” he said.
Duplechein said he got comments against moving the school from people on both sides of the parish, west bank and east bank.
Voting to relocate the school were Robyn Penn Delaney, Julie Blouin, Taft Kleinpeter, Shawn Sevario and Lambert .
Voting against relocating the school, in addition to Duplechein, were Kerry Diez, John Murphy, Lorraine Wimberly and Pat Russo.
Board member Troy Gautreau is traveling out of state and wasn’t at Tuesday’s meeting.
Delaney, who had led the effort to move Donaldsonville Primary, said after the meeting that she had no comment.
With the issue of the school’s location settled, the district will move forward with renovations to add more classrooms at Donaldsonville Primary, one of the school projects planned with funding from a 2009 bond issue.