(The Daily Advertiser) – Lafayette Parish School System officials are considering building a new elementary school in the Broussard area.
“It would ideally, potentially serve the Broussard community well,” Superintendent Donald Aguillard said at a Wednesday school board workshop. “It would give us tremendous additional seating capacity.”
Funding for any such school construction would likely come from the district’s existing bonding capacity. The location is yet to be determined, although the system does already own some land in the Broussard area.
Currently, the only public elementary school within the Broussard city limits is Katharine Drexel Elementary.
Demographer Mike Hefner said he has had concerns about how a rezoning of attendance boundaries would affect Katharine Drexel’s enrollment. One rendering showed the school taking in up to 1,300 students.
However, in a new presentation to the school board Wednesday, Hefner projected around 770 students at Katharine Drexel, with attendance boundaries adjusted to push more students toward schools like Ernest Gallet Elementary and Green T. Lindon Elementary.
Ernest Gallet could have around 729 students, and Green T. Lindon could have around 830.
Board member Erick Knezek urged a comprehensive approach in addressing any facility needs.
Knezek said he thinks the district has become accustomed to using temporary buildings at campuses.
“We are now zoning for that capacity. We are zoning and accepting that it is OK that two-thirds of (Evangeline Elementary) is not really a school. It’s a trailer park,” Knezek said. “I think we would like to know from a holistic approach where else do we have needs to build facilities.”
Construction is currently underway on Southside High in Youngsville. It is the first new public school built in Lafayette Parish in more than 40 years, and will open in August 2017 for freshmen and sophomores.
Aguillard said he is meeting with local architects and plans to ask them to examine existing school facilities and help develop a master plan to build more permanent wings at campuses.
“We’ve got that on the to-do list, for a clear vision to dramatically remove temporary buildings at our schools,” Aguillard said.