Construction at Lafayette Parish schools could begin this summer

Construction on major expansions and renovations planned at Green T. Lindon Elementary and Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy could begin in late summer based on an estimated timeline for the projects.

“Right now, the architects are working on the plans and they’re still receiving some input from us on final requirements,” said Kyle Bordelon, Lafayette Parish School System director of planning and facilities.

Construction could start this summer, but “it’s an estimated schedule contingent upon the plans being completed and put out for bidding purcposes,” Bordelon said.

The two school projects, as well as major work planned at four other sites this year, are funded by the sale of $30 million in bonds.

At Lindon, a new classroom building is planned on adjacent property donated to the school system. The new building should help alleviate overcrowding at the school, where nearly half of its 800 students attend classes in portable school buildings. The school’s cafeteria will also be expanded and improvements will be made to the administrative offices.

At Thibodaux, renovations d an expansion are planned to equip the school for its focus on science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, courses.

The two projects could be ready for bid in May. While construction at both schools will be ongoing during the start of the new school year in August, the projects will be isolated from instructional areas, Bordelon said.

By next month, architects could be selected for work planned at Youngsville Middle and L.J. Alleman Middle with an estimated construction start of late November or December.

Youngsville Middle will also receive some relief from overcrowding with $5.3 million for a classroom wing addition there.

A $3 million project at L.J. Alleman includes a new cafeteria and parent and faculty work and meeting space, air conditioning for the gym, locker room renovations, computer labs and renovation of the existing cafeteria to create a mini-auditorium.

Design work for about $2.8 million in renovations at Northside High could begin in the next few weeks. Improvements at the high school include air conditioning for the gyms and locker rooms, an elevator and window replacements, locker room renovations, tile replacement in one of the school buildings, renovations to the science and chemistry labs, and a privacy fence for its football stadium.

Lafayette High will receive about $2.5 million for the construction of a new storage area for band and chorus equipment, restroom renovations, drain repairs and renovations for the auditorium, new air conditioning for band and chorus rooms, and restroom and locker room renovations in the gyms.

Architect selection for the Lafayette High improvements could begin in April with a construction start time estimated for early 2014.