Sulphur High pays back loan

Two years ahead of schedule, Sulphur High School has fully reimbursed a $500,000 loan given by the Calcasieu Parish School Board to pay for an artificial turf football field.

Sulphur High Principal Robert Barrentine gave the board the final check, worth $60,000, during its meeting on Tuesday. The School Board in 2015 voted to lend the money to the high school on the condition that it be repaid within five years.

Barrentine thanked the board for its willingness to take a risk on the loan and credited the contributions by the Sulphur “family,” including “students, parents and community members.”

“Our field has afforded our students, community and the surrounding areas to utilize the outdoor facilities when conditions would not have allowed them to use other stadiums,” he said.

Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus credited the school “and the entire Sulphur community for setting a goal and making it happen.”

“They certainly rewarded the School Board’s confidence by ending their debt earlier than expected,” he said.

The board later heard that the cost of new classroom pods at Bell City High School will increase by $165,655.73, and construction will take 80 days longer than originally scheduled.

District 15 Board member John Duhon asked about the higher cost. Bruchhaus said 80 percent of it comes from the school requesting atypical modifications to the pod so it can house a home economics classroom. These changes, he said, require more building materials, appliances and electricity.

“What we’ve said about pods is, ‘That’s okay, if you’ve got the money to pay for it,’ ” Bruchhaus said.

Funds from the city’s taxes and riverboat gambling funds will pay for the project, Bruchhaus said.

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(Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

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