JENNINGS — Jennings' new elementary school now has a name — Jennings Elementary School.
The Jeff Davis Parish School Board voted 9-1 Thursday to name the new school Jennings Elementary on the recommendation of the board's building and grounds committee following an Oct. 20 public meeting. Committee Chairman Jimmy Segura made the motion which was seconded by board member Jason Bouley.
Board members Greg Bordelon, Charles Bruchhaus, Donald Dees, David Doise, Denise Perry, Jody Singletary and David Troutman also voted in favor of the name with board President Phillip Arceneaux casting the sole dissenting vote. Board members David Capdeville, Malon Dobson and Terry Leger were absent.
"All schools in the parish are named and identified by the city they are in," Segura said explaining the committee's recommendation after the meeting. "I think the committee and most of the Ward II members feel this will reunite the community. While there were differences in opinions, most agree with the name Jennings Elementary."
The name was chosen from three names submitted from the public in October for the board to consider. Other names were James Ward Elementary and Jennings-Ward Elementary.
Explaining his no vote after the meeting, Arceneaux said he voted for what he felt his constituents wanted.
"The constituents that I represent wanted the name James Ward Elementary," Arceneaux said. "That is what they asked for and I was elected by those people and have to do what they request."
Arceneaux had proposed to name the school Jennings-Ward Elementary School, as a compromise, but it failed to receive support from the community.
The new school will combine about 1,500 pre-K through sixth grade students from James Ward and Jennings Elementary schools to a single campus on a 20-acre site on the west side of La. 26 south.
The $24.5 million school is part of a $29.5 million bond issue and a separate half-cent sales tax approved by voters in March.
Officials are expected to break ground in April on the new school which will be built on a 20-acre site off La. 26 south. The project will take two years to complete.