Buildings of now-closed schools in Ascension Parish are getting new life in agreements between the School Board and other government bodies.
This past spring, the former location of a Gonzales elementary school, G.W. Carver Primary — which moved to a new campus in 2013 — became the home of a program of the 23rd Judicial District Court. The building at 518 W. Oak St. is now home for Families in Need of Services, an intervention program of the court that works with children and their families to prevent juvenile crime.
Before that, Gonzales, in an agreement with the School Board, began using the old G.W. Carver gym for practice for the Gonzales Youth Basketball League.
The city also has cleared a field at the former school site to provide a practice field for the city’s youth football league.
“We use each other’s facilities all the time. I think it’s very beneficial to both governments,” City Clerk Clay Stafford said.
In other intergovernmental agreements, local schools use city tennis courts and the School Board uses the Gonzales Public Safety Center on Orice Roth Road for employee training, Stafford said.
Conversely, the city’s youth soccer club plays on the East Ascension High School soccer fields, Stafford said. City youth athletic programs also use gyms at several schools in Gonzales.
On the west bank of the Mississippi River, an Ascension Parish school that’s been closed for more than 10 years will provide space for a satellite location of the parish’s Sheriff’s Office.
The School Board and the Sheriff’s Office agreed this spring that the Sheriff’s Office would lease part of the campus of the now-closed West Ascension Elementary School on St. Patrick Street in Donaldsonville for a new substation.
The building the Sheriff’s Office will be leasing comes with an adjacent basketball court, said Chad Lynch, the School Board’s director of planning and construction.
On Tuesday, the School Board’s Facility Management Committee will review revisions to the agreement with the Sheriff’s Office to provide a bit more property at the former school campus for activities to engage the community, Lynch said.
“When we have pre-existing agreements, it makes it easier for the staff (of both entities) to use the facilities,” Lynch said. “It’s worked out well for us.”