Voters OK bond proposals for schools

Westlake, Maplewood areas impacted

Calcasieu Parish School Board bonding District 23 passed its $42 million bond proposal in Saturday’s election with 342 votes in support and 234 in opposition. The 20-year bond will fund campus improvements at Maplewood Elementary and Middle schools, Westwood and Western Heights Elementary schools, S.P. Arnett Middle School and Westlake High School.

Damon Hardesty, board president and District 23 representative, thanked voters for supporting the next generation of students in Westlake and Maplewood.

“If you don’t support the next generation then the community starts to die. That’s the bottom line,” he said.

He said all bonding districts are in great need for upgrades and renovations due to new class offerings, especially with growing curriculum emphasis in science, technology, engineering and math.

“Ten, 15, 20 years ago they didn’t offer as many classes or these special type of classes. We’re having to bus students from school to school to meet the need.”

Hardesty said Westlake residents will see new roofing prioritized with the bond money as well as new wings, pods and classrooms added at each school and a variety of other “much-needed improvements.”

Westwood Elementary’s gymnasium will be completely gutted and remodeled, a costeffective measure, compared with tearing it down completely, Hardesty said. Western Height’s open-air pavilion will be enclosed to serve as a multipurpose facility for schoolcommunity events.

S.P. Arnett’s car pick-up will be extended with interior renovations to classrooms and rest rooms, as well. Westlake High School will add an agriculture building to its campus for the first time and also see renovations in the band hall.

Billy Breaux, another District 23 representative, said its funds will go toward finding efficient methods to improve its campus infrastructure, which includes buildings that are 60-70 years old.

“You get more for your money when you think outside of the box,” he said.

Like many Calcasieu campuses, Maplewood is landlocked, “so there’s only room to go up,” he said.

In addition to interior renovations, construction will begin on a two-story building with computer labs.

Technology is a vital component to a successful school, Breaux said, and contrary to popular belief, bonds help cover that cost as well.

“A lot of people don’t realize …. They think the state ends up giving everyone computers for free but they haven’t done that in the past 10-15 years ago. We’ve got to spend that on technology.”

Technology is a vital component to a successful school. Contrary to popular beliefs, bonds help cover that cost, as well.

Billy Breaux

District 23 representative

””campus improvements graphic

Crime

Two arrested, one sought in drive-by shooting

Local Business News

Long-term lease signed for former Mallard Cove property

Local Business News

Sasol kicks off largest capital project of fiscal year with turnaround

Local Business News

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Local Business News

George Swift: Creating a sustainable and viable economy

Local Business News

School Board approves Lotte-Westlake Chemical tax exemption

Crime

Conviction of man who ran over girlfriend with car overturned

Local News

Ethel Precht Foundation assets transferred to West Cal Cam Hospital

Local Business News

School Board’s FEMA reimbursement funds in hand

Local News

Tourism leaders honored at President’s Circle

Local News

Beauregard courthouse illuminated in pink

Crime

10/19: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

New generation of deputies leading D.A.R.E.

Local Business News

Chennault recovering from storms, pushing forward

Crime

10/18: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Thrift store ‘extension of God’s love to community’

National News

Former Secretary of State Powell dies from COVID 19 complications

Local News

Fatal shooting at Grambling second in three days

Local News

Photo Gallery: This Is Home Festival

Crime

10/17: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

SW La. school lunch menus Oct. 18-22

Informer

Informer: City still working to replace street signs destroyed by Laura

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Senate election is headliner

Local News

McNeese named among ‘Best Colleges’ list