Allen schools getting fresh look

Doris Maricle

OBERLIN — The Allen Parish school district is continuing to make improvements to repair and upgrade facilities to better serve students and staff.

“Between now and next year at this time, we have a lot of work to do,” Superintendent Kent Reed said.  “It’s going to continue throughout the school year. I hope the communities realize the amount of work we are doing and the effort to make our schools look good.”

The district is continuing to repair damages caused by last year’s hurricanes as well as perform routine maintenance as the district prepares for a new school year, Reed said.

It takes a lot of work to keep facilities in great shape and up to standards to achieve success in education, he said.

Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, Transportation and Special Services Kenney Courville and Maintenance Supervisor Eric Cole gave board members an update on maintenance and construction projects during Monday’s meeting.

“When I was coaching I used to tell my players, the greater the obstacles, the greater the opportunities and this past year gave us a lot of opportunities with the storms and it affected our maintenance tremendously,” Courville said. 

Many of the schools received roof, water and wind damage from the storms, he said.

“We took a lot of damage and we are making some improvements to our schools, but the work is not done,” Courville said, noting the district is still working with insurance companies to resolve issues.

“A lot of what we are trying to do now is prevention and to stay ahead of it before it becomes a big problem,” he continued. “If we can replace it before we have to band-aid it, it’s going to save us money in the long run which is the ultimate goal.”

A bond project at Kinder High provided for the renovation of 22 classrooms and the addition of two new classrooms. A new cafeteria dry storage, renovation of an old gym and construction of a new gym are wrapping up. Drainage and lighting issues are also being addressed at the school.

Future improvements will include replacement of a majority, if not all, of the flat roofs, he said.

At Kinder Elementary, a new pre-K building has been built with repairs made to awnings around the school and gym. Three temporary buildings were also removed.

Future projects will include remodeling of bathrooms, replacement of the roof and repair of a playground fence. New playground equipment is also planned.

At Kinder Middle, the cafeteria was remodeled and new LED lighting added to the fifth grade classrooms. A new fire alarm system was also installed.

Future repairs call for repair or replacement of the flat roof over the main building and replacement of the roof on the 7th and 8th grade wing. Construction of a locker room to replace temporary buildings is also planned.

A new gym roof and three roof top AC units were installed at Elizabeth High. Other projects included refinishing gym bleachers, repairing storm damage to the cafeteria and repair of catwalk and gutters. 

Future roof repairs and renovations to the auditorium are slated.

Boiler replacements and new lighting were installed at Oakdale High, along with new electrical service for the main building. New cafeteria equipment has also been installed.

Future repairs are planned for the gym roof.

Cameras are currently being installed in classrooms at Oakdale Middle, along with new AC units in the administrative offices and new canopy lights. An old field house in front of the school was removed to make room for a pavilion.

Future projects include repairing the slab in front of the school and addressing drainage issues.

An asphalt drive is currently being overlaid at Oakdale Elementary to ease traffic congestion. New playground equipment was also installed.

Future plans include repairing fences and installing new basketball goals on the playground.

Work is underway to remodel the auditorium at Fairview High where roof repairs and floor repairs have already been made.

A new bus canopy and concrete barrier to reduce land erosion in front of the gym are planned.

Roof and AC unit repairs caused by storm damage have been made at Oberlin High with plans to replace the storm damaged fence around the football stadium. 

School officials are also exploring the feasibility of replacing the track.

Roof projects have also occurred at Oberlin Elementary.

A complete remodel of the gym, including the roof, bleachers and court, has been completed at Reeves High. A new bus shed with added storage space was awwlso built and new cafeteria equipment installed.

Future plans include complete replacement of the roof, removal of playground fence and covering of the play area. The old canning center will be remodeled as a bus shed.

Roof repairs, cleaning and lighting updates are also being made at school board’s central office and media center. Future projects include repairs to the media center’s parking lot.



A remodel of the Reeves High School gym, including the roof, bleachers and court, has been completed. 

Doris Maricle

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