The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board on Wednesday gave the green light to an estimated $14.3 million worth of construction work at six of its schools.
The board also agreed to selection of E2020, a Scottsdale, Ariz., online company to offer online courses to students who are behind or who are trying to get additional course credits.
Wednesday’s meeting was as a “committee of the whole” meeting, meaning that even though the entire board was present, votes were not final. Final approval is expected at the board’s next regular meeting Sept. 20.
Ten of 11 board members were present Wednesday. Board member Randy Lamana was absent.
All but one of the six school construction projects presented Wednesday are scheduled to occur next summer, after students leave for vacation in May. The only exception is a planned six classroom addition at Westdale Middle School. Work on that project is scheduled to begin in February.
Here are the six schools, a description of the work, and the estimated cost:
- Belfair Elementary, $1.8 million, classroom improvements.
- Bernard Terrace Elementary, $2.6 million, classroom improvements.
- Greenbrier Elementary, $1.8 million, classroom improvements.
- Park Forest Middle, $2.7 million, classroom renovations to entire campus.
- Villa del Rey, $1.8 million, classroom improvements.
- Westdale Middle, six classroom addition, $3.6 million.
The four classroom improvement projects will mean new paint, window, floors, tack boards, ceiling and lighting for those schools.
Board member Evelyn Ware-Jackson urged school officials to make sure that Bernard Terrace’s campus will be worked on, especially its auditorium, which lacks good air conditioning. She was assured it would be worked on.
“The last (parent-teacher association) meeting I went to there had 200 people, and it was suffocating,” Ware-Jackson said.
The board on Wednesday also, without discussion, recommended hiring E2020 to offer middle and high school students select courses online.
After the vote, in an interview, Herman Brister Sr., assistant superintendent for school support services, said the school system chose E2020 out of four companies that sought the business largely because the company will offer students more help in the form of a “personal online tutor.”
Brister said the school system is subscribing to E2020’s service for the 2012-13 school year and students who are behind and trying catch up, a process known as “credit recovery,” will get first choice at courses.
The budget for the program for 2012-13 is $99,000 and the school system has selected 35 courses that students can sign up for, including a preparation course for the ACT college placement exam, Brister said.
Students will need to get permission of their principal or the principal’s designee to get a license to take a course, Brister said.