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Advocate staff photo by ELLYN COUVILLION -- Ascension Parish school faculty cut the ribbon on Tuesday at the new location of the Ascension Programs and Pathways for Learning, e-education and career training in Sorrento. From left, front row, are School Board members Robyn Penn Delaney, partially obscured, Julie Blouin and Jared Bercegeay; Assistant Principal Melissa Zeller; Principal Harry Wright; Superintendent David Alexander and School Board member John Murphy.  

The Ascension Parish School Board combined a meeting with a ribbon-cutting at the new home for the district's APPLe Digital Academy in Sorrento. 

The academy moved over the summer from its former location in Darrow to a newly renovated, former community college facility at 9697 Airline Highway.

Classes in industrial trade skills have been added to the courses at the academy, which serves students who have been expelled from school, those who are working toward their state-issued high school equivalency, and students who are home-based, using online curricula.

"This is a great day for Ascension Parish," Principal Harry Wright said at Tuesday's event, adding that he's already seen what the renovated campus has done for the morale of the students.

"We love you, you're the greatest," he told students.

Among the officials on hand Tuesday was Sorrento Mayor Mike Lambert, who said he was "tickled to death" at the new use for the building. 

"I was very concerned when the community college pulled out of here," Lambert said.

The area has a special meaning for Lambert. His father, the late Reynolds Lambert, was once assistant superintendent for the school district and helped bring a park to the community on School Board property across Airline Highway from the APPLe Digital Academy.

The property now houses several departments for the parish school district.

Tuesday was the School Board's second ribbon-cutting of the day. Earlier in the day, staff and officials officially recognized the two-story classroom addition at Dutchtown Primary. 

Both projects are among those funded by bonds first issued in 2016 after voters that year approved extending an existing property tax to repay the debt. 

At its meeting on Tuesday, the School Board approved issuing the last $40 million in bonds of the total $120 million in bonds made possible in that April 2016 election. 

Email Ellyn Couvillion at ecouvillion@theadvocate.com.