Addition not on land proposed in swap
LAFAYETTE — Crowded Green T. Lindon Elementary will be expanded even though the Lafayette Consolidated Council’s rejected an ordinance last week that would have cleared the way for the donation of land adjacent to the school, said Kyle Bordelon, school district facilities planning director.
The school is adjacent to Foster Park, about 26 acres owned by a real estate development company, Young’s Industries, which offered to donate the property to the city of Youngsville if the city, in turn, donated about 8 acres of the park to the Lafayette Parish School Board for the elementary school.
Nearly $9 million in construction is planned for Lindon Elementary.
Bordelon said the council’s decision doesn’t affect the Lindon project because a permanent classroom wing addition will be built on School Board-owned property and not on the donated land.
The donated property is needed to provide playground space, Bordelon said.
“It would be nice to have that Foster Park property so the kids will have a bigger place to play than just the remaining school ground that will be left. That’s our big push to get that property — so the kids will have a big wide open space to play both during construction and after,” he said.
The parish government holds a lease on the property through 2025 and rejected an ordinance at its council’s Oct. 15 meeting to transfer its lease to Youngsville.
The transfer is necessary because the parish is subleasing the property from Youngsville, said Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator.
“LCG has to release it first, then we would release it so Young Industries could make the donation,” he said.
Some council members rejected the ordinance because there were no assurances the land retained by Youngsville would continue to be used as a park.
“The feeling I am getting is that many residents and some council members would like to see Foster Park remain a park through the term of the lease,” said council member William Theriot, whose district includes Youngsville.
Council member Kenneth Boudreaux, who voted against the ordinance, said the parish has an obligation to ensure that residents in the parish have access to recreational facilities.
Viator said he’s worked with his city’s attorney and the city-parish’s attorney to add language to a new proposed ordinance to allay some council members’ concerns.
The new ordinance will likely be introduced at the council’s Nov. 5 meeting.
Viator said he also thinks some council members were misled to believe that Young’s Industries wanted the property back to develop it.
“This property’s going to be donated for a school and the rest will be donated to Youngsville for a park,” he said.
The Broussard Youngsville Youth Association also uses the park’s fields and initially some of its membership were worried about the association’s future access should the city-parish no longer lease the property.
Broussard Youngsville Youth Association board President Dawn Durke said the association was guaranteed continued usage of the park.
Viator said the new ordinance will have language specific to BYYA, allowing them use of the park until either Broussard or Youngsville decides to leave the association.
Viator said he wanted the caveat added because both cities are developing recreational complexes.