Dec. 8 election called for bond issue for school improvements in Kinder

<p class="p1">OBERLIN — The Allen Parish School Board called a Dec. 8 election Monday for a bond issue for school improvements for schools in Kinder.</p><p class="p1">The bond issue would be for $9.2 million in 20-year general obligation bonds for renovations, improvements and new facilities at Kinder elementary, middle and high schools.</p><p class="p1">The bond indebtedness rate would be set at a seven percent maximum interest and be payable from ad valorem taxes currently collected in School District 25 (Kinder).</p><p class="p1">District 6 School Board member Carolyn Manuel said plans for the bond issue call for cafeteria improvements at the elementary and middle school.</p><p class="p1">“The cafeteria is probably 65 years or older and has not been updated all this time except for a few pieces of equipment,” Manuel said.</p><p class="p1">A new cafeteria will also allow students to have a longer lunch period. Currently nearly 1,000 students in elementary and middle school share the cafeteria, she said.</p><p class="p1">The plans also include a classroom expansion for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students at the elementary school to include updated classrooms for physical development and a separate playground area for the students.</p><p class="p1">The classrooms would replace older classrooms currently located in a former canning facility which has flood damage, Manuel said.</p><p class="p1">A new gym is also proposed for the high school to include new restrooms and concession stands which will be used during football and basketball games.</p><p class="p1">The new gym would also allow the high school to hold playoff games without having to travel to neighboring parishes, Manuel said.</p><p class="p1">“The current gym is too small to hold the crowds,” she said.</p><p class="p1">Superintendent Michael Doucet said the bond issue will also allow the School Board to address safety issues for all three school campuses.</p><p class="p1">“We want to improve on safety and try to make the campuses safer,” he said.</p><p class="p1">Among the proposals is to make a one-way entrance and exit for all three campuses; school door locks; secured entrances to the schools and secure doors to the classrooms.</p><p class="p1">Improvements would also be made for band and music rooms at the elementary and middle school campus. The facilities are currently housed in portable buildings.</p><p class="p1">If approved by voters in December, the bond money would be available by March or April of 2019, according to bonding attorney Alan Offner of Foley and Judell in Baton Rouge.</p>””<p>A new gym is proposed for the high school to include new restrooms and concession stands which will be used during football and basketball games.</p>Special to the American Press