- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Several major school construction projects are in the works across Lafayette Parish.

The Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/1iqu5zN) the renovations and additions at six schools are being funded by nearly $33 million in bond money.

The biggest project totals $9 million and is at the David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy. The J.F. Juge Construction Co. is overseeing the first phase of work, which includes additional student parking, an expanded engineering lab and a new science wing.

Academy principal Jeff Debetaz said the new engineering and science spaces will allow the school to offer courses that are more in line with college programs and industry standards.

“We’ll have state of the art equipment that will facilitate more of an industry-based setting for education for the students,” Debetaz said.

In addition, there are renovations taking place to the front of the school.

“When you enter it, we’re making it more secure so people will have to walk into an office rather than walking into a hallway,” he said. “They will go in there and then have to be buzzed to the back of the school.”

Another project is at Green T. Lindon Elementary in Youngsville. Principal Kaye Victorian said the first phase will consist of five buildings, including three that will have 22 classrooms. There will also be a new administrative building and a multipurpose building for school assemblies, physical education classes and other activities.

Total cost of the Green T. Lindon project is about $8.9 million. Victorian said the new classrooms will replace the portable buildings currently on the campus. The first phase should be finished near the beginning of the school year in August.

“We’re only going to have four more classrooms than with the portable buildings, but it’s the fact that our children will now be in pods, so that a whole grade level will be in one location and the teachers can collaborate,” Victorian said. “The students will have restrooms close to them, the teachers will have their work rooms closer. All of that will just make the instructional time better.”

Other projects include a $5.3 million expansion at Youngsville Middle School. During the project’s first phase, the school will add nine classrooms and a wood shop. The cafeteria and offices will be renovated. In the second phase, eight classrooms and a health center will be created.

The entire project is expected to be finished by May 2015.

Work also is taking place at Northside High School, including renovating science and chemistry labs, adding windows and elevators and locker room renovations.

Bidding is expected to begin soon for about $3 million of work at L.J. Alleman Middle School.

Design work is underway for nearly $2.4 million of work at Lafayette High School, including an addition for band and chorus storage and bathroom renovations.


Information from: The Advertiser, https://www.theadvertiser.com

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