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Istrouma High School's ribbon cutting and grand re-opening ceremony on Sept. 12, 2017.

As renovation costs rose, Istrouma High School was forced to put off work on some parts of the 70-year-old north Baton Rouge campus. 

Now, the historic school, which reopened in August after being shut down for the past three years, is poised to get an influx of $4.5 million. It's money school system officials say will be used to fix an as-yet-unrenovated “annex building.”

If the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board gives final approval for the funding at its Dec. 14 meeting, as expected, that will bring the cost of renovations so far to $28.6 million.

The annex building renovations are scheduled to be finished by July.

Advocates for the high school say another $3 million-plus will be needed to fix up its auditorium and perhaps add other facilities as it grows. Alumni have been working to raise money for some of these additional projects.

Jackie Mims, a former School Board member, has been pressing to complete the renovation work. She serves as co-chair of the Istrouma Advisory Council, a citizens group that oversaw the revival of the north Baton Rouge high school. Mims said the added space is needed now, but may not be enough.

“I estimate that in about two years we’ll be back to tell you we’re out of space again,” Mims said.

The school currently has more than 500 students in the sixth through 10th grades and school officials are planning for 1,200 students eventually. Eleventh and 12th grades will come over the next two years.

The middle school portion of the school  campus is a dedicated magnet, but it only moved onto the 3730 Winbourne Ave. location over Thanksgiving break and has yet to make a serious recruiting push.

“The middle school is going to grow,” predicted Superintendent Warren Drake.

The high school also will have a smaller magnet program that will mirror the one in the middle school and is set to start in August, but it will only be a part of the high school.

Here's a link to the what the School Board voted on: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yIAPqnZgVB-sCrmXTQ7cHBV5MVp2F99P

Follow Charles Lussier on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.