Last Modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 7:45 PM
Expansion of educational and athletic resources will be among topics discussed by the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee tonight.
Committee members will decide if land located next to Washington-Marion Magnet High School, Vinton High School and a parcel of land in Moss Bluff should be purchased using riverboat tax collections.
The meeting will begin at 4:45 p.m. in the board room at 3310 Broad St.
Annually, the school board gets $2.5 million in riverboat tax funds, which according to the district’s Chief Financial Officer Karl Bruchhaus, has been used for the last 15 years to buy property and build temporary classrooms.
Population growth in the Moss Bluff and Gillis areas warrants the eventual construction of a new elementary school, board officials have said.
Bruchhaus said Moss Bluff Elementary has an enrollment of 1,000 students and Gillis, 850 students.
“The funding is not there to build a new school but the land is available,” he said.
School Board officials are interested in a 20-acre parcel of land on the east side of North Perkins Ferry Road that sits between La. 378 (Sam Houston Jones Parkway) and Joe Miller Road.
Bruchhaus said an offer for the land has been made at $15,000 an acre.
“The landowner is asking us to build a road. We will be in a negotiation process if the committee recommends the full School Board should give final approval,” he said.
He said a 4.7-acre parcel of land located north of Washington-Marion could eventually be home to baseball and softball fields.
“There has been discussion of having an athletic complex like that for the school for years. It would require a bond issue by the district eventually, but that isn’t being discussed at this point. Land is available though and the school is landlocked,” Bruchhaus said.
School Board administration officials have negotiated a price of $79,000 — $17,000 per acre — for the land, which needs a vote of approval from the committee and full school board before the deal can be closed.
A 13.4-acre parcel of land east of Vinton High School’s football stadium is another target for purchase.
If the land is bought, part of it would be converted into a baseball and softball complex.
“There is a bond issue for that district in April to help with capital outlay money to do school improvements,” Brucchaus said. “We have an offer pending on the land and are waiting to hear back.”
The School Board has offered $15,000 per acre.
If approved by the committee, a final vote on each property purchase would be held in November.