LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Lafayette Parish School administrators say the Lafayette Parish School Board approved a directive to install air conditioning units in all parish high school and middle school gyms.
The school district explains that the goal is to have the entire job completed by the 2018-19 school year.
There are a number of bid recommendations before the Lafayette Parish School Board on Wednesday, September 13. The bids include air conditioning the gymnasiums of Lafayette High, Carencro High School, Carencro Middle School, and the Truman Early Childhood Education Center. LPSS Chief Administrative Officer, Joe Craig says the Carencro Schools have an estimated cost of $1.4 million.
Dr. Donald Thornton is the principal at Lafayette High School. Dr. Thornton says there’s a health and maintenance aspect to consider when a gymnasium is without an air conditioning system. “We have to keep the main doors open all day long. The weather blows in sand on dry days and water on rainy days,” says Dr. Thornton.
Dr. Thornton believes once an air conditioning unit is installed, then the issue of having maintenance clean-up what blows into the gym would be no more. He agrees the cost to have the work done will be money well spent. “I do know they had several folks come and look at the facilities so they can see what they can do, and they can come in at budget or under,” notes Dr. Thornton.
LPSS Chief Administrative Officer Joe Craig says last winter the board approved the directive to install A/C units in all middle and high school gyms and Truman Elementary. “We’re doing this as quickly as we can. The good news is that to my understanding all bids have come in under what we have budgeted. We’re getting a good bang for our buck,” says Craig.
Craig calculates that for Lafayette High and Truman Elementary the cost estimate comes in at around $1.6 million. Three additional requests will go before the school board in October. The October bids are for Broussard Middle, Youngsville Middle and Edgar Martin Middle. Craig adds that the bids for the remaining nine schools will be presented to the board in November.