DONALDSONVILLE — Ascension Parish school officials plan to start construction projects on eight campuses in the next two years as part of the $100 million bond issues parish voters approved in 2009.
A number of projects at schools across the district already have been completed or are under construction. Chad Lynch, the parish’s director of planning and construction, delivered a construction update Tuesday night to members of the Ascension Parish School Board’s Facility Management Committee.
Lynch highlighted four specific projects at Donaldsonville, East Ascension and St. Amant high schools, as well as at Galvez Middle School, that are in design and set to begin construction in 2013 or 2014.
The East Ascension and St. Amant projects are for additional classrooms with later plans to add freshmen academies on both campuses.
The East Ascension addition is a $7 million project, while plans at St. Amant call for a $5.2 million construction of additional classroom space.
Lynch said the school district will pick up 20 acres — 15 purchased and five donated — for additional parking at St. Amant High.
Meanwhile, at East Ascension, plans call for relocating the library to a new building featuring additional classrooms.
Donaldsonville High School’s construction also will center on the library, Lynch said, but the focus of the project will shift “from an old-fashioned library to an Internet cafe” in the mold of Starbucks or Barnes & Noble.
School officials want the new library to be a “place to attract kids to read, yes, but also a place where kids can go with their multimedia devices to learn,” said Steve Westbrook, assistant superintendent of instruction and school turnaround for Ascension schools.
The Galvez Middle School project would completely renovate the campus, shifting the school’s football field, adding parking and classrooms, and a new administration building, Lynch said.
Other projects are planned and in the design phase at Ascension Parish Head Start, Donaldsonville Primary, Lake Elementary and Gonzales Middle.
Lynch also showed pictures and gave updates on construction projects that have been completed or are ongoing at Gonzales Primary, Dutchtown Primary, G.W. Carver Primary, St. Amant Primary, St. Amant Middle, Dutchtown Middle, Prairieville Middle, Gonzales Middle and East Ascension High.
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