Lafayette superintendent: Tax proposal to upgrade school buildings could go to voters in 2016



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LAFAYETTE, Louisiana — Officials say Lafayette Parish school facilities are in dire need of expansions and enhancements.

Superintendent Don Aguillard says a bond or tax proposal for those needs could go to voters as early as next spring.

With some schools out of space for temporary buildings, several in need of wing expansions and most in need of vital amenities like air-conditioned gyms, Aguillard on Monday said attention to those matters can't wait any longer.

Should the Lafayette Parish School Board pull together a proposal this month, voters could decide on it in the March election, Aguillard said. Otherwise, the board would have until October to put a measure on the April ballot.

"We're going to be moving quickly to try to put together some packages to present to the board," Aguillard said.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1eecKxK) the school district has about $94 million in bonding capacity. Aguillard said should it retire its existing debts over the next two years, the district would be able to accrue new debts "at no additional cost to Lafayette citizens."

Aguillard also said he's directed the school system's financial officers to find more creative ways to calculate the bonding capacity to "squeeze" $100 million out of the equation.

One of the more urgent needs is a second phase of a new high school near Youngsville, which could be partially completed and open to freshmen and sophomores by the 2017-18 school year, Aguillard said.

About $70 million already has been budgeted for the first phase of the high school, which will have a capacity for about 1,750 students. The project in whole is scheduled to be complete by 2018.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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