EAST FELICIANA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The highest performing school in East Feliciana Parish is getting some long overdue upgrades. Parents have long complained about a leaky roof and poor lighting at Slaughter Elementary School. A tight budget delayed repairs, but the school system has now found a way to address the issues.
Jennifer Thornton's 3rd grade class was focused as they brushed up on multiplication tables and fractions ahead of the LEAP test. The lessons have not changed much, but their learning environment has.
"Most of our schools were dungeons, in my opinion," said Superintendent Carlos Sam.
Sam says the school is one of the first in line to get some much-needed upgrades. Something as simple as new lighting has made all the difference. "The kids are saying that their eyes are having to adjust to the lighting. The teachers are having to adjust teaching strategy to the lighting. So I'm proud we were able to bring about the change in our schools," said Sam.
The lights, Sam says, are part of the school's plan to become more energy efficient. Some of the other upgrades include a new roof and air conditioning units in the school cafeteria.
"We are very excited we can do these upgrades, well over half a million you will see throughout the entire building," said Sam.
New plumbing and restroom renovations are also planned for all schools in the district. Sam says the renovations are now possible through a $4 million bond that is set to be repaid over 16 years. Sam is hoping being more energy efficient will help pay for some of the project and fund future projects across the district.
"We'll continue to analyze all of the needs of our schools in an ongoing basis and try to make those improvements as needed," said Sam.
The school system is set to launch a five-year strategic plan. Sam says new schools could be part of that discussion, but that would most likely require a tax hike.