ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - New schools and major upgrades are coming to Ascension Parish.
The school system has announced a construction plan to ease overcrowding and enhance students' academic experience on several campuses. It is all being funded by a $120 million bond which voters renewed this year.
The foundation is set and the two-by-fours are starting to shape what will become the Freshman Academy at East Ascension High School. Even more evidence of progress in the Ascension Parish School System can be found at St. Amant High School where Director of Planning and Construction, Chad Lynch, said a similar facility is ahead of schedule.
"It means we can fix a lot of the stresses that are there in our school system," Lynch said.
Those freshman academies, plus one at Dutchtown High School, are just part of the solution to ease growing pains in Ascension Parish. They will include digital libraries and new cafeterias with additional food options and serving lines. Lynch said the concept is already a huge hit on campus.
"You don't hear about it every day but if you bring them over and show it to them they get very excited," Lynch said.
Lynch said three new primary schools are also planned. They will be located on Boullion Crossing, Highway 73, and Germany Road. A new middle school is set to be built on Bluff Road, and Lynch said the school system is in the process of getting permits for a new high school.
"Our goal is to try to get two of the primaries started as quick as we can and then next year start another primary and a middle school," Lynch said.
He said each school is scheduled to be built over a two year period. The plan calls for renovations and upgrades to at least a dozen schools in the parish.
2016 Bond Construction Projects:
Addition/Renovations to Ascension Head Start in Donaldsonville
Addition/Renovations to Dutchtown Primary
Continue Security Plan Implementation at all campuses
Addition/Renovations to Lowery Middle School
Addition of Gym to Prairieville Middle School
Renovation of old Donaldsonville High library into classroom/office space
APPLe Digital Academy
Exterior covered play areas at all primary schools
Lynch said the projects will be spread out over the four year period covered by the bond.
"We are going to let the permitting drive what we get finished first," Lynch said.
Lynch said, if construction keeps moving at its current pace, the schools will open just in time to greet Ascension Parish's newest residents.