January vote set on tax issue for work at Walker High

The Livingston Parish School Board will vote Jan. 16 on whether to call a spring election to raise property taxes in the Walker area to pay for facility improvements at Walker High School.

State law requires the board to announce any intention to consider a new tax or bond at least 30 days before choosing to send the issue to voters.

Officials say the new buildings for Walker High School are needed because of rapid growth at the school, which sits between Burgess Avenue and U.S. 190 just off La. 447. Early plans include new classrooms, an upgraded technology center and new science labs, though Superintendent John Watson has said nothing is definite.

School system officials have said they hope to get the issue on the May 3 ballot, but have not determined the amount of the bond or how much taxpayers would pay for it.

If the tax is put on the ballot and approved, it would apply only to millage rates for households in the Walker bonding district, which shares roughly the same boundaries as the Walker attendance zone.

Livingston Parish has established school bonding districts within the parish so that residents will have to vote on bonds for projects only within their children’s bonding district.

The School Board has voted at its two prior meetings to buy about 4 acres just south of Walker High School for the expansions.

In other business at the Thursday meeting:

BID APPROVED: The board approved Blount Construction to build a new four-classroom building at Doyle Elementary School.

Blount Construction submitted a $819,000 bid for the project.

It was the lowest of seven bids submitted. Crews also will build a new general purpose workroom as part of the building.

The board in August approved Ziler Architects of Lafayette to oversee the elementary school project. Plans are also in the works for a new band practice hall at nearby Doyle High School.