LAFAYETTE — The Lafayette Parish School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to take the first step in addressing overcrowded schools in Youngsville by choosing an architectural firm to handle design work for the nearly $9 million expansion of Green T. Lindon Elementary.
The firm, Pécot & Co. was approved for the project.
The board also voted unanimously to advertise for an architect for the estimated $5.3 million expansion of Youngsville Middle School.
Superintendent Pat Cooper told board members there’s an urgent need to address overcrowding at the schools.
“My problem, and Youngsville’s problem, is they have kids coming to school next year and they don’t have seats for them,” Cooper said.
At the end of the last school year, 709 students attended Lindon and the number of portable classrooms outnumber classes within the campus’ main school building, according to information attached to the board agenda. As of September, 840 students enrolled and attendance is expected to grow next year as the majority of new home construction in Youngsville is within the Lindon school zone, according to records provided to the board.
Currently, 839 students are at Youngsville Middle, though the school was built for 588, the records say. The expansion projects for both Youngsville schools are on a list of projects that could be funded with $30 million in limited tax revenue bonds.
The board also unanimously approved distributing an excess reserve of more than $5.4 million from the 2002 half-cent sales tax to eligible certified employees. The half-cent sales tax is earmarked for teacher raises and professional development and also allows for an annual distribution of the reserve.
Checks in the amount of $1,805.43 to more than 2,400 eligible certified employees will be processed on Oct. 31, said Billy Guidry, district chief financial officer.
Also on Wednesday, the board voted 7-2 to rescind its contract for garbage and recycling services with Gordon’s Disposal and to award the contract to BFI Waste Services, the company that purchased the company.
Board members Hunter Beasley and Shelton Cobb voted against the motion. Board members Greg Awbrey, Mark Allen Babineaux, Mark Cockerham, Kermit Bouillion, Tommy Angelle, Rae Trahan and Tehmi Chassion voted in favor of the contract.
The board also discussed legal issues Wednesday. In another 7-2 vote, board members authorized its executive committee to create a job description and interview local law firms to represent the board. The committee is scheduled to give the board a recommendation on a firm to hire in November. Board members
Awbrey and Cobb voted against the action.
The board also voted 8-1 to amend a resolution adopted last month that authorized the hiring of Escamilla, Poneck, and Cruz, LLC of Monroe as special counsel to end the firm’s service effective Oct. 15.
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