New School Groundbreaking Today

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Submitted by Taylor Media

Central, La. – The Central School Board will hold a ground breaking ceremony at 5 p.m. Monday on its Sullivan Road property to commemorate the start of construction for the new middle school and intermediate school.

            Both schools will be constructed on an 83-acre tract located at 12656 Sullivan Road.  The property is located northeast of the intersection of Gurney Road and Sullivan Road. 

School officials, local dignitaries and community leaders, as well as project architects and engineers will be in attendance.  The public is invited to attend.

            Ross Bogan, construction coordinator for Central Schools, said construction will begin simultaneously on both schools.  The intermediate school is projected to be complete by August 2011, and the middle school will be built by January 2012.  The projected cost for building the two schools is estimated at $35 million, he said.

He said the school district is planning to construct three driveway entrances off Sullivan Road and one off Devall Road to manage traffic flow.

            “We are working with a very aggressive timeline,” Bogan said.  “The sooner we can get our students in these buildings, the sooner they have access to a better, safer learning environment.”

            Funding for the two new schools was approved by local voters in May 2009.  Voters passed a ½-cent sales tax to pay for the construction of the new middle school and a 14.4-mill property tax to pay for the construction of the new intermediate school.  Funding also was allocated in both approved tax propositions to acquire property for the new schools.

            Voters also passed a third tax proposition last year – a 9.25-mill property tax – to pay for renovations at the district’s other schools.  The first phase of the repairs began this summer, and the second phase is scheduled to take place during the summer of 2011.

            Superintendent Michael Faulk said the new middle school, which will house grades 6-8, will encompass about 135,000 square feet and contain 30 general classrooms and six science laboratory classrooms.  It will replace the existing Central Middle School that is outdated and in need of major repairs.  Cost estimates showed that the district could construct the new school for less than the cost of renovating the old one.

            The new intermediate school, which will house grades 3-5, will be a 100,000-square-foot complex with 27 general classrooms and nine math/science classrooms.  The district is currently leasing the former Starkey Academy and several temporary buildings to house these grades.  The new school will allow the district to save approximately $400,000 in yearly rental costs.

            “The classrooms in these new schools will be equipped with state-of-the-art educational technology that will enhance learning opportunities.  We will have multiple data drops, overhead projectors and interactive whiteboards for multi-media lesson opportunities,” Faulk said.

            “The campuses are also designed for ‘small learning communities’ to optimize instruction.  Classrooms will be arranged in grade houses to maximize collaboration among teachers, students and counselors specific to a particular grade,” he said.

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