Iberville School Board agrees to seek financing for school construction

The Iberville Parish School Board on Monday night gave the administration the green light to borrow up to $6 million to help pay for more than $11 million worth of new construction projects planned across the district.

The board voted 12-1 to sell up to $6 million in revenue bonds to be repaid in 14 years through a property tax approved in 2008. The school district will present its application Tuesday to the state Bond Commission.

Board member Dorothy Sansoni, who represents the Plaquemine area, was the lone dissenting vote.

Sansoni said she felt the school district is borrowing too much money to finance projects on the east side of the parish in St. Gabriel. Last year, city officials threatened to break away from the Iberville Parish School District because they felt their schools were being overlooked for much-needed infrastructure improvements.

Facilities director Patrick Norris told the board Monday night that portions of the borrowed money would be used to construct a gymnasium/arts building at the Math, Science and Arts Academy-East campus and to build a new weight room and renovate the gymnasium at East Iberville High.

The board approved the list of projects last year, pending funding, he said.

“I feel the money going across the river is not needed for the number of students that attend school over there,” Sansoni said.

Although board member Darlene Ourso ended up supporting the measure, she objected to how the administration plans to divide the funds among the projects, which include a new weight room at White Castle High and expanding the dining hall at MSA-West.

“I’m just concerned about breakdown. I haven’t seen it in writing yet,” she said.

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