Nov 16, 2010 7:19 PM by Melissa Hawkes
It's official NP Moss Middle School will be the new site for the Thibodaux Career and Technical School. This decision comes after months of school board members looking all over Lafayette for the best location.
The technical school has been in the works for 16 years now, finally after securing NP Moss Middle School as it's new location, the community can see the plans come to life.
Director of Schools of Choice and Technical Schools in Lafayette Parish, Burnell Lejuene, said "if feels good to know that the effort of a lot of people in the community is going to finally be realized."
The decision was made late last night and planning started today.
Lejuene said, "looking at four career houses and we are hoping to have 300 slots in each house, which is 1200 students."
Some expected the Old K-Mart building to be home the the new school, but school board members say it came down to money. Renovating K-Mart would have cost up to 65 million dollars....converting NP Moss costs 20 million.
School board member, Mark Babineaux, said "its a forty million dollar windfall of money that we don't have to spend on a new or renovated facility."
School board members say it wasn't just a matter of money but also time. Officials say NP Moss can easily be converted into a technical school and be ready for students to walk in starting this fall.
"We don't have to spend all our time dealing with architects, engineers and the bidding process and everything else to get it built," Babineaux said. Lejeune added, "there will be some remodeling of existing classrooms to satisfy some requirements and then we'll have to build the skill shops."
The plans will hopefully include the three hundred students who attend NP Moss Middle now.
Babineaux said, "the kids that are there are in all likely-hood will be able to stay there but they will have to qualify for the stem academy."
That's the science, technology, engineering and math academy which is already housed at Moss now.
The entire building won't be completely renovated by this fall, but officials say that won't be a problem because the specialty shops won't be needed until the Fall of 2012.