Photos: Central Tailgate Party hosts music, fun for all ages Saturday _lowres

Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE — Kenny Acosta and band perform Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 during the Cooking in Central all day tailgate for the LSU vs. Mississippi State away game.

A group planning a March 31 benefit for flood victims withdrew a request to sell beer at the event at Central High School after several Central School Board members said Monday night they’d vote no.

The school system’s policy is not to allow the sale of alcohol on school grounds but can waive that policy.

The group requesting the waiver, Cooking in Central, has held annual benefit events for the school district since it opened its doors in 2007 after gaining independence from the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.

Now, the group is turning its attention to the whole city of Central, which suffered severe damage during the historic flooding in August. The Friday night concert at Wildcat stadium is set to feature several popular music acts.

While expressing deep support for the organization, several board members balked at their request.

“I’ll help any way I can; I have a problem with granting the waiver to sell the alcohol and the beer at the events,” said board member James Gardner.

“I’ve seen the damage it could do,” said board member Sharon Browning.

Another board member, Jim Lloyd, acknowledged that beer sales would increase revenue at the event.

“I’m really torn on this one,” Lloyd said.

Seeing where the wind was blowing, Louis DeJohn, president of Cooking in Central, agreed to withdraw the request. In return, board members said they will work to increase ticket sales to the event.

In other business, the School Board agreed to spend another $164,000 to complete renovations to flooded Tanglewood Elementary School. The three change orders call for replacing kitchen equipment, ceiling tiles and pressure washing the buildings.

Superintendent Michael Faulk said it took awhile to determine that these items needed replacing and then to get quotes to nail down the likely cost. For instance, the ceiling tiles were not flooded but did not fare well in the flood’s aftermath. They were installed in 2010, but the manufacturer refused to let the school system invoke the warranty on them, Faulk said. Instead, the school system is paying for their replacement and then will seek reimbursement from FEMA.

The change orders increase the cost of construction from $3.2 million to almost $3.4 million. Deumite Construction of Baton Rouge, the general contractor, is nearing the end of an extensive makeover and revamp of the elementary school located at 9352 Rustling Oaks Ave.

Teachers are going to get an early peek at the work done during a special tour Wednesday afternoon. The school is set to reopen Monday, Jan. 9, when students return from winter break.

Follow Charles Lussier on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier