School officials implement timeline for facilities maintenance projects

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2008

RESERVE — Less than two weeks after voters in St. John the Baptist Parish overwhelming approved a proposition to allow the school board to borrow $46 million to improve school facilities and enhance academic programs, school administrators and planning consultants have begun implementing the district’s five-year construction and renovation plan.

“It’s important that we get started as soon as possible, so our children can begin to benefit from the improvements that will be made in this plan,” said Superintendent Dr. Courtney P. Millet.

Dr. Millet and Financial Executive Director Felix Boughton met this week with representatives of CSRS, the engineering firm that is managing the district’s facility management plan, to develop an implementation timeline for the plan.

(See PLAN, pg. 2A)

Boughton noted that at the next school board meeting, board members will vote to accept the results of the Nov. 4 election, thereby making the results official, and then they will vote to authorize the administration to accept bids on $10 million worth of bonds and accept procedures for selecting an architect for the projects.

“Once that formality is complete, we can expect to have our phase-one bonds sold by mid-March, and construction to begin in the spring or early summer,” Boughton said.

Dr. Millet said those projects included in the first phase of construction include new running tracks at both district high schools, new playgrounds at all elementary schools and new field house additions.

She said design work for renovations and expansions at some of the other schools will also begin immediately. Many of these projects will be completed in phases, and some will stretch out through the full five-year timeline.

“Our goal is to create safe and secure learning environments that focus on both academic and athletic development. We believe our students will benefit most when they can have facilities that exercise their mind and their bodies,” she said.