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Jefferson Parish School Board Facilities Committee Recommends Spending $7.3M to Upgrade High School Facilities

The Facilities Committee of the Jefferson Parish School Board today voted to recommend that the board approve $7.3 million in funding to upgrade the district’s high school facilities.

“These upgrades are critical,” said Superintendent James Meza, Jr. “Over the past several years, we have had to defer much needed maintenance on some of our buildings due to budgetary constraints.”

Within the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS), there are 13 high schools with an average age of 47 years. The two million square feet includes 869 classrooms in 155 buildings that serve 11,000 students.

The work will happen in two phases with about $3.9M coming during the 2014-15 school year, and the rest in the following year.

Twelve JPPSS high schools will see improvements ranging from exterior upgrades to classroom modifications to rehabilitation of a gym and auditorium.

“We need to prevent further deterioration of the buildings and provide a safe and secure facility,” Meza said. “In addition to improving the classroom aesthetics for an enhanced learning experience, we want to ensure that our students have a welcoming place for activities.”

According to Meza, in order to fund the renovations, the district will amend the budget for the fiscal year 2014 to allocate $3.94 million and add the balance of $3.4 million to the budget in fiscal year 2015.

Funds allocated to each school are as follows:

Bonnabel High School $1,483,975
East Jefferson High $847,900
Helen Cox High School $109,900
John Ehret High School $1,138,789
Fisher High School $67,200
Grand Isle High School $79,000
Higgins High School $1,064,180
Haynes Academy $384,000
Grace King High School $598,150
Riverdale High School $509,500
Thomas Jefferson High $202,000
West Jefferson High $842,900
Total $7,327,494