July 12, 2012 06:09
Rae Trahan, the Lafayette Parish School Board member who represents overcrowded students in Youngsville, joined three other board members in voting against a recommendation to address the overcrowding in Youngsville schools.

Rae Trahan, the Lafayette Parish School Board member who represents the Youngsville area, joined three other board members Wednesday night in voting against a recommendation on how to address critical overcrowding in Youngsville schools.

According to The Advocate, the board voted 5-4 at its regular Wednesday meeting to accept a recommendation by Superintendent Pat Cooper to sell $30 million in bonds for construction and facility needs, the most pressing of which includes new buildings in Youngsville to accommodate the town's exploding population.

As The Independent reported in its June 6 news story, "Growing Pains," Youngsville schools have surpassed their maximum capacity by 1,000 students, prompting Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator to schedule a series of meetings recently between himself, Cooper and school board members to come up with an immediate solution:

The draft list of items involves: $6 million in renovations and construction at Lindon; $2 million for a new classroom wing at Youngsville Middle; $4 million to complete renovations at Northside High; $10 million for renovation and construction at Lafayette High; and $8 million for new construction at David Thibodaux STEM Academy.

Some board members asked that a decision on starting the bond sale process wait for a detailed list of how the money may be spent at each school.

"Let's have an idea of where it's going to go and how it's going to be spent before we go get it," Angelle said. "Maybe we need less maybe we need more."

Viator attended Wednesday's meeting to ask the board to consider addressing overcrowding at his city's schools. Architect Kirby Pecot told the board that the school could be enlarged with the use of property donated from Young's Industries, a Youngsville business.

River Ranch and Sugar Mill Pond developer Robert Daigle was also on-hand at the board meeting for a rare appearance and comment on behalf of Young's Industries, telling the board that "in a nutshell we in the private sector care deeply about what's going on in public education today."

Read more here.

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