Three primary schools, middle school, planning for new high school to be included in bond proposal going to Ascension voters on April 9 _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Ascension Parish School Superintendent Patrice Pujol in 2014.

The Ascension Parish School Board on Tuesday approved 14 projects — most of them designed to address overcrowding in the fast-growing parish — that it hopes will be accomplished with a $120 million bond proposal going before voters on April 9.

Three new primary schools and a new middle school are on the list, as well as site planning and permitting for a new high school.

The bond proposal, if passed, would be paid for with an existing 15.08-mill property tax.

Construction of the new high school, which would be built on property the School Board owns on Parker Road, off La. 44 in the Prairieville area, would require voter approval of another bond issue in coming years, to be paid with existing property taxes.

“I’d like the public to know how we’re growing. We need these primary schools and the middle school and renovations,” School Board President Lorraine Wimberly said after the meeting.

“We are strategically always trying to move a couple of steps ahead” of the growing student enrollment, Wimberly said.

The Ascension Parish school district serves approximately 21,000 students and grows by about 500 new students each school year.

In addition to the construction of four new schools, the project list for the proposed bond includes a number of renovation projects and the addition of classrooms at primary schools, middle schools and high schools.

“We’re really looking forward to getting out to the public and having conversations about why this is so important to students,” schools Superintendent Patrice Pujol said of the bond issue.

Voters last passed a bond initiative in 2009, when they approved a $100 million bond, repaid with property taxes, for major renovations and school construction.