Apr 3, 2013 9:10 PM by Chris Welty

Board Members Question School Renovations

Two Lafayette Parish School Board members are questioning the effectiveness of recent renovation projects at Northside High and N.P. Moss Preparatory Academy.

This comes after board members Greg Awbrey and Mark Babineaux attended a meeting at Northside High Monday. Though uninvited, it was the first time the members had seen work done on the campus.

The two board members also recently toured N.P. Moss Prep and had questions about that school restoration project.

"When you find it, you bring it up and you try to get it fixed," said Lafayette Parish School Board Member Greg Awbrey of District 6.

An electric box, a thermostat not covered, an exit sign with tape and paper covering it at Northside High. Board member Greg Awbrey is frustrated about these loose ends of school improvements that cost nearly two million dollars.

"We have those kinds of things that get missed."

Awbrey and fellow board member Mark Babineaux say incomplete and sloppy work could result in code violations, temporarily closing parts of Northside. Superintendent Pat Cooper disagrees.

"If Northside could be shutdown, it would have been shutdown. If they find things, they've got to let me know. It's sad that I hear about that from you. If it's such a concern for safety of children, it seems like somebody would have told me that."

The members also question if money was spent efficiently at Moss Prep. The facade was renovated last year and an air conditioning system was added behind the school.

"Those outside units aren't serving the classrooms they are closest too, they are going through the building to the front," said Awbrey.

"We basically ran out of money because that's all the money we had from q-zid bonds and other things," said Cooper.

Another two million dollars was approved for Northside High. Improvements will continue at Moss Prep depending on need.

Lafayette Parish school officials have created a wish list of more than 275 million dollars in facility improvements, including four new schools and the elimination of temporary buildings on all campuses. Those four new schools alone would cost an estimated 105 million dollars.

Chris Welty



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