School Board Oks school improvements

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 17, 1999

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / July 17, 1999

EDGARD – With the new school year just weeks away, the St. John SchoolBoard agreed to spend over $313,000 in school improvements at its regular meeting at Edgard Elementary School.

The money was appropriated for: Painting the metal roof of West St. John High School for a cost of$4,000. The money is to come from the Capital Improvement Fund.Replacement of air conditioning units at East St. John High School, Leon Godchaux Junior High and West St. John High School. Jessie Oubre, interimmaintenance manager, said the units are old, and because of moisture they are threatening to collapse, which could cause injury to faculty and students. Cost will be $96,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund. Replacement of carpet with tile for East St. John High School, West St.John High School, East St. John Elementary and Garyville/Mt.Airy MagnetSchool. Principals of these schools have complained that moisture fromair conditioning units have cause the carpets to mildew. The cost is$22,800 from the Capital Improvement Fund.

Completion of networking all the schools together by installing cable.

Technology coordinator Robert Brown said that with the completion of this project, all classrooms will be networked together and able to log on to the internet. The cost is $75,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund. Replacing the lighting system at the West St. John High School stadiumfor a cost of $82,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund.

The stadium lighting issue garnered a lot of discussion by board members and faculty. Acting principal Glenda Gaudet told the board the stadiumlights failed four times during one football game last year. She is concerned that a blackout in the stadium could cause severe injuries to students, players and parents.

“We want to stop injuries when the lights go out,” she told the board. “Weneed to do something about the lights immediately.”Oubre had come up with two plans to fix the lighting problem. The firstoption was a quick-fix approach that would have kept the same equipment, but would cost $11.000. The second option was to replace the presentlighting for a cost of $82,000.

Board member James Madere questioned the timing of the request.

“Why did we wait seven months for this action to be taken?” he asked.

Leroy Mitchell suggested they replace the stadium lighting at both schools.

But in the end, the board voted 8-2 to replace the lighting system at West St. John. Madere and Matthew Ory both voted against the motion. Boardmember John Crose was absent from the meeting.

In other action, the board approved a motion by Director of Business Operations Felix Boughton to lease out the Lucy School to the Edgard Sportsmen. The club, a civic and social group, has agreed to renovate thedeteriorating school and turn it into a community center.

The five-year lease calls for no rent, only the agreement that the Edgard Sportsmen maintain the building.

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