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mr. bernham

EBR School's

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I felt this needed a thread and now it has one. 

 

It's no secrete that this cities education sucks, when I say that I mean it. In fact when we moved here we almost moved to Denham because of the schools (then we were tipped off that it was filled with a lot of backwards folks). In the end we settled on BR, but the schools still irk us. I recently read this article and I got even more pissed off, then I read the cities annual report and realized that the city leaders really are living in la la land. They fail to see that population growth IS dependent on your schools and social services (not to mention infrastructure which is it's own debate). The city leaders see the growth and think that things are great, but fail to see that Baton Rouge could have a population that rivals New Orleans and probably another fortune 500 company (or even two) all if the education was better. 

 

In the annual report I can not even begin to count how many times they said, "The Capitol City Region". Regions are great, but they are filled with smaller cities that in BR's case, take away population and general growth. City leaders should be focusing on Baton Rouge proper, not the whole region. The worst bit was when Representative and 2013 Chair of the Board, Pat Felder said, "The high-profile projects and record-setting numbers should not overshadow the strides made in critical areas that help make our region competitive, such as small business and education

 

Um, Ms. Felder, do strides include a popular movement to ditch the school system that has apparently made progress in the past year? I think not. So what is sad is that these leaders and hell the chairs of the BR Area Chamber are ignoring the problems the city and greater community face. They are living under the false idea that everything is great in this city. 

 

While progress is something to be noted and celebrated, ignoring the problems your community faces and trying to overshadow them with economic progress is not the way to run a city or accelerate growth. Good luck Baton Rouge, your sure as hell gonna need it...

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Will be sure to chime in more...plenty to talk about on this subject; didn't mean for this topic to sit idle this long

 

Lee High S.T.E.M. and V.P.A. Magnet Academy broke ground last month...state of the art facility; nothing like it in the area; beautiful plot of land along Bayou Duplantier watershed will have a college campus feel.

 

http://www.wafb.com/story/25691778/officials-prepare-to-break-ground-on-new-lee-high

 

-38cd3d1144e94e9d.jpg

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Warren Drake named next East Baton Rouge Parish schools superintendent The East Baton Rouge School Board has unanimously selected former Zachary Superintendent Warren Drake as its next superintendent.

There were no comments from audience Thursday when the board made its choice.

The board on March 20 unanimously named Drake its top contender. Board members quickly settled on the 63-year-old native of Homer, La., after just 45 minutes of discussion behind closed doors. In the process, the board rejected nine other applicants for the job.

Drake drew mostly praise and few critical questions at a board interview on March 27. That interview, divided into two parts, is available for viewing on YouTube.

If, as expected, the board hires Drake, it’s not clear how quickly he will start, even though he’s expressed willingness to start very soon. Outgoing Superintendent Bernard Taylor’s three-year contract expires June 30 and he has shown no signs that he will leave before that date.Drake is best known for being the first superintendent of the Zachary school district, taking the reins in 2002 as it was readying to break away from the parish school system. Zachary quickly leapt to the top of state academic rankings, where it’s remained ever since. Its enrollment has more than doubled in its 12 years of existence.

In 2012, Drake left to serve as a top administrator for the Louisiana Department of Education, working with 19 school districts across the state.

Drake, however, spent most of his career in East Baton Rouge Parish schools. His first job was as a history teacher at Glen Oaks Junior High School in 1974. Except for a few years he spent running a hardware store, Drake stayed with the school system until he left for Zachary, including spending six years as principal of Tara High School.

In returning to his old employer, Drake is readying to take on the biggest challenge of his career.

East Baton Rouge Parish is home to 80-plus schools and more than 42,000 students, making it the second largest school district in Louisiana. While all Zachary schools are A-rated schools, East Baton Rouge is dominated by schools with C, D and a small number of F grades. On the other end of the spectrum, however, the parish school system also has several schools that outperform Zachary schools.

Where Zachary is almost evenly divided between black and white students, East Baton Rouge is almost 80 percent black and 10 percent of its students are white, with the rest a mix of Hispanic, Asian and other ethnic backgrounds.

Economically, Zachary is the most affluent district in the state, although 4 out of 10 of its students qualify for free and reduced-price lunches, an indicator of poverty. By contrast, about 80 percent of East Baton Rouge Parish students come from families that meet those income guidelines.

If hired, Drake would be the first current or former employee to lead the system in six years and the first former East Baton Rouge teacher at the helm since Raymond Arveson retired in 1987. http://theadvocate.com/news/11986491-123/drake-on-track-to-be

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Can someone please explain how Baton Rouge schools suck instead of using herd mentality and just saying they're bad because everyone says so?? I'm not saying they're not bad but we need to explicitly write out the shortcomings so people reading (me,lol) can know exactly what's wrong with them instead of just going off hearsay?

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The biggest problem with EBR Public Schools they never focus on the failing schools.

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I COPIED & Pasted this from my post in St.George thread from February 11th...

 

A lot of it has to do with "socio-economics"....there are plenty of outstanding teachers in EBR that bust their tails doing their job; yet still  get blasted unfairly from the outside world <_< based on test score results!

 

Hopefully Drake is just what the doctor ordered to breath some fresh air & wave his magic wand...sure it's his biggest challenge...but this could salvage the EBR system...& just maybe open the eyes of St. George proponents and they can join together to figure something out...

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Well hopefully something will change. 

 

What this city really needs is more charter schools.

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Hope Drake focus on the failing schools unlike the superintendent before him. Most of the failing school are on the poor side of town if he can get those schools to at least average that means he is trying. Charter schools truly is need, but not under EBR schools control.

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Hope Drake focus on the failing schools unlike the superintendent before him. Most of the failing school are on the poor side of town if he can get those schools to at least average that means he is trying. Charter schools truly is need, but not under EBR schools control.

The whole point of charter schools is that they are not under the supreme control of the EBR School District, they are instead under the slight control of the state because they receive public and private funds. 

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This could be good, the commentors on the article had some interesting points. I think they should let the teachers slap the students with bamboo rods, I'm sure that'll be a good motivator. :lol:

 

Here's a pic of what seems to be a typical school building from google:

 

BASIS_MESA_View_24.jpg

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This could be good, the commentors on the article had some interesting points. I think they should let the teachers slap the students with bamboo rods, I'm sure that'll be a good motivator. :lol:

 

Here's a pic of what seems to be a typical school building from google:

 

BASIS_MESA_View_24.jpg

That looks really nice. 

 

Yeah Bamboo punishment would really motivate the students!  :silly:

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At the risk of sounding completely insane, I think they might have "fixed" that St. George situation. But if these reforms work out I do think it will much better for the parish overall.

New East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent of Schools Warren Drake will outline his plans to reform the local school system at the Ronald Reagan Newsmaker Luncheon to be held at Café Américain, 7521 Jefferson Hwy. A reception begins at 11:30 a.m., with lunch and presentation to follow at noon. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. Lunch is $17, payable to the restaurant. For further information contact East Baton Rouge Parish Republican chairman Woody Jenkins at [email protected].

 

From the businessreport.com

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Can someone please explain how Baton Rouge schools suck instead of using herd mentality and just saying they're bad because everyone says so?? I'm not saying they're not bad but we need to explicitly write out the shortcomings so people reading (me,lol) can know exactly what's wrong with them instead of just going off hearsay?

Socio-economic status. Poor, hungry kids have much more to think about when they go home to their home on a block where there's a handful of felons and single family homes. Fix their home life, fix the schools. I say this all the time, but Dutchtown was not a very special school whatsoever. People in other states were so much further ahead than us.

Edited by Antrell Williams

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Warren Drake tells north Baton Rouge forum he hopes to make an announcement soon about Istrouma High            

East Baton Rouge Parish schools Superintendent Warren Drake on Thursday promised a crowd of more than 200 people that he is working to end the “educational desert” that exists in much of north Baton Rouge and to reignite school pride and connection to local neighborhoods.

 

High on that agenda is getting Istrouma High School back from the state , which took it over in 2012 and closed it in 2014. Drake, who worked for the state Department of Education from 2012 to this spring, said he is talking to state leaders and hopes to be able to announce something in a few weeks.

The superintendent noted that much of north Baton Rouge is without a high school now and he wants to change that. He said he also plans to combat increased competition from independent charter schools by working to make district schools the first choice of parents.

“I don’t want any child to leave their neighborhood for schools that are far away,” Drake told a predominantly African-American audience that filled the pews of Star Hill Baptist Church, 1400 N. Foster Drive.

To help cement that community connection, Drake said he’s beefing up arts and athletics, making sure every school has a parent-teacher organization as well as a partnership with a local business.

Drake, who took over the state’s second-largest public school district in June, also emphasized his desire to have schools connect with students’ minds and hearts so they grow to value school.

“We want to lead from the heart and teach from the heart,” he said. “We want to give (children) a hug when they come to school each morning.”

In a similar vein, he said he is focusing on connecting with teachers as human beings to attract, retain and work with them to improve what they do.

“Teachers need to feel valued, and they want to work in safe environments, and that’s what we’re going to do in East Baton Rouge Parish,” Drake said.

He plans to post in the lobbies of schools the rates at which both teachers and students are attending school in hopes it will spur them both to come to school more regularly. Drake said he personally hates to miss work.

“My wife thinks I’m a workaholic, because I am. I love what I do,” he said. “And I want our teachers to love what they do.”

Thursday’s gathering was organized by the group “Our Schools…Our Excellence,” an offshoot of the nonprofit group MetroMorphosis; the Rev. Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill and a former state lawmaker, is president of MetroMorphosis. Our Schools unveiled Thursday a new public information campaign called “It’s My Responsibility” to persuade residents of the importance of improving schools and how they can help make that happen.

Drake fielded questions from a five-member panel made up of a student, a parent and three community members. Audience members also submitted questions that Jetson then posed to the superintendent.

Godis Jackson, a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School who sat on the panel, said she liked what she heard from Drake and that he was responsive to the questioners. She had only one misgiving.

“I wish he had shared how he would get students involved in planning for the changes he’s making,” Jackson said.

LaToya Butler, a mother of a first-grader at a local elementary school who also sat on the panel, said she too was taken with the new superintendent and is excited about the direction he’s taking.

Butler said she especially liked when Drake clarified what happened when the School Board voted a week ago to lower the minimum grade-point average from 2.0 to 1.5 that students need to participate in school sports and extracurricular activities. Drake explained that the change would not affect the grades students get in individual classes, something Butler was unaware of.

“I didn’t understand it,” Butler said. “It made more sense when he said that the grading scale didn’t change.”

Drake thanked Jetson for inviting him to the forum and said he’s eager to get the word out about what’s happening in schools: “I have not turned down one organization or event to go to, because guess what? We’re all in this together.”    http://theadvocate.com/news/13270257-123/drake-tells-north-baton-rouge

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East Baton Rouge School Board considering Success For All program for F-rated schools, adding magnet programs, and air-conditioning all school buses                                                          

The East Baton Rouge Parish school system is working toward signing a $527,000, three-year contract with Baltimore-based Success For All to improve reading and literacy at four F-rated north Baton Rouge elementary schools, part of a $1.27 million federally funded grant to turn around low-performing schools.

 

The School Board gave unanimous preliminary approval to the grant Thursday and is expected to give final approval when it meets Nov. 19.

The four schools are Claiborne, Howell Park, Merrydale and Park Forest elementary schools. The state Department of Education awarded the $1.27 million to the four schools last month, part of $10 million worth of federally funded school improvement grants it awarded to 24 districts throughout the state.

The school system had asked for more money in hopes of focusing on every grade, as well as obtaining help with writing instruction. But the state awarded less than sought, so now the Success For All contract will cover only grades kindergarten to three and only reading.

“This is a tight budget,” said Pat Friedrich, district grant writer. “We’d like to do a lot more. But we feel like we can really move those students up.”

The grant runs out in summer 2018. No schools in Baton Rouge use Success For All, though a few have in years past.

The not-for-profit Success For All launched in Baltimore in 1987 and is used in more than 40 states as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The highly structured curriculum is one of four “evidence-based, whole-school reform models” the U.S. Department of Education gave as an option for school districts seeking to turn around an existing school as opposed to replacing school leadership and staff or closing the school and reopening it as something completely different.

Besides training in reading instruction and instructional materials, the contract with Success For All calls for access to online tests as well as leadership training and a reading-based character education program.

Also Thursday, the School Board gave the green light to applying again for a Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant that would finance the launch of magnet programs at three schools that don’t have such programs: Howell Park Elementary, Broadmoor Middle and Istrouma High.

Istrouma High’s would-be magnet program is contingent upon the state finalizing plans to return the historic north Baton Rouge high school, closed in 2014, to the parish school system. If Istrouma is not returned to local control, the plan is to place the magnet program at Broadmoor High School instead.

In 2013, the school system applied for a $4 million federal grant to fund magnet programs at four schools; Broadmoor Middle also was on that list. The U.S. Department of Education rejected that proposal and spent nearly $90 million elsewhere.

The School Board on Thursday also gave preliminary approval to let Gary Reese, chief of student support services, research the full cost of retrofitting the school system’s bus fleet with air conditioning. Superintendent Warren Drake already has made clear he wants to move toward putting air conditioning on all student buses, not just those that cater to special-education students where it’s required by law.

Reese’s initial estimate is $11,000 per bus to retrofit. With more than 400 buses lacking air conditioning, that could easily cost north of $4 million. Reese, however, said he wants to get a full picture of the costs, including ongoing maintenance costs. He said he hopes to return to the board early in 2016 with better estimates. http://theadvocate.com/news/13879117-123/east-baton-rouge-school-board

 

  

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New Lee High facility set for March completion  

Progress continues on the new $54.7 million Lee Magnet High School campus on Lee Drive. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of March, and the school should be ready to take in students for the new academic year that begins in August, an East Baton Rouge Parish School System official says.

Furniture will be delivered to the school beginning in the second week of March, and everything should be in place about four weeks after the first delivery, says Adonica Duggan, a school system spokeswoman. The new school will then be turned over to staff at the end of the current school year.

The old one-story Lee High building was demolished in 2013 to make way for the two-story, four-building magnet school that will feature three academies—digital and media arts, biosciences, and engineering and robotics. In the academies, students will attend classes in web design, video production, premedicine and computational sciences classes.

“Lee Magnet High School is a rigorous technology-based model which promotes a college-ready, skill-based curriculum, integrating science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts,” a school brochure boasts.

David Hebert of Grace & Hebert architects, the project manager for the new Lee High facility, says the school will feature all the promised amenities, such as modern classrooms to accommodate 1,200 students, as well as flexible study areas, a media center, gym and auditorium.

“Everything has fallen into place,” Hebert says. “We were able to afford everything that we had wanted.”

Three of the buildings will house each academy, while the fourth will be a common area with the gym, fitness center and cafeteria.    https://www.businessreport.com/article/new-lee-high-set-march-completion

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On 7/15/2015 at 9:51 PM, Antrell Williams said:

Socio-economic status. Poor, hungry kids have much more to think about when they go home to their home on a block where there's a handful of felons and single family homes. Fix their home life, fix the schools. I say this all the time, but Dutchtown was not a very special school whatsoever. People in other states were so much further ahead than us.

Good point. 

Leaving kids in failing schools surrounded by failing teachers and students just because of their parent's address is, IMO, the civil rights issue of our time....and this is NOT specific to Baton Rouge.    I think optional programs or accelerated programs that students can "test" into can give them a chance to break the cycle of poverty and under achievement if they are motivated to do so.   Those left behind will be the most at risk, and we can rebuild the curriculum of those lowest performing schools around their needs specifically.    I don't think urban public schools can efficiently operate as a "one size fits all" setup.  

It may not feel like it, but Baton Rouge is at least aimed in a better direction today than it was 20 years ago.  

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5 hours ago, cajun said:

Good point. 

Leaving kids in failing schools surrounded by failing teachers and students just because of their parent's address is, IMO, the civil rights issue of our time....and this is NOT specific to Baton Rouge.    I think optional programs or accelerated programs that students can "test" into can give them a chance to break the cycle of poverty and under achievement if they are motivated to do so.   Those left behind will be the most at risk, and we can rebuild the curriculum of those lowest performing schools around their needs specifically.    I don't think urban public schools can efficiently operate as a "one size fits all" setup.  

It may not feel like it, but Baton Rouge is at least aimed in a better direction today than it was 20 years ago.  

I agree, the issue plagues our entire nation as most of our cities are pretty heavily segregated by race and income. 

However, there is no true cycle of poverty and underachievement, just 50 years ago African Americans were kept from a generally decent quality of life. It's a cycle perpetuated by the state since the 13 colonies. Now there's the prison industrial complex to deal with. 

If there are no jobs in those communities, investment, infrastructure, etc then the poverty and crime will remain. In my opinion the schools are simply a product of their environment. The parents of most of the kids in these communities weren't afforded the same opportunities as others, including my mother. I believe the only way to eradicate this issue is time, as younger generations begin to run the world. 

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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, Antrell Williams said:

I agree, the issue plagues our entire nation as most of our cities are pretty heavily segregated by race and income. 

However, there is no true cycle of poverty and underachievement, just 50 years ago African Americans were kept from a generally decent quality of life. It's a cycle perpetuated by the state since the 13 colonies. Now there's the prison industrial complex to deal with. 

If there are no jobs in those communities, investment, infrastructure, etc then the poverty and crime will remain. In my opinion the schools are simply a product of their environment. The parents of most of the kids in these communities weren't afforded the same opportunities as others, including my mother. I believe the only way to eradicate this issue is time, as younger generations begin to run the world. 

There is a cycle of poverty and underachievement unfortunately.   As 50+ years of experience in education in my family would agree with, these cycles are not caused by public education......but lack of access to high quality public education is definitely a contributing factor (an enabler, if you will).  

African Americans were left out of the biggest expansion of the middle class this nation has ever seen between 1940 and 1960.   There's absolutely no doubt about that.   By the time Civil Rights came into focus in the latter part of the 20th century, that post-war boom was over.   Today, the best jobs require an excellent education.    The most innovative, productive fields now are technology and healthcare - both sectors require an excellent education.   Manufacturing and other blue collar work that built this nation's middle class are declining rapidly especially in the northern part of the country, the great lakes, and the mid west.  

Even today, there are simply not enough highly educated Americans to take the jobs available in tech fields.    We are highly dependent on the H1B visa for a lot of our tech jobs, and it's becoming obvious that our public schools are not preparing students for the jobs available now or in the medium-long term future.   That is not specific to poorly performing public schools in African American communities, either.   

Louisiana's ace in the hole is the oil and gas industry (when oil prices are up at least).   That's truly a way for people with barely a high school diploma to work hard and earn real money at a very young age.    it's a fairly recent trend.   IMO, that's why southern Louisiana appears to be relatively prosperous compared to parts of north Louisiana.    New Roads, Thibodeaux, Lafayette, Breaux Bridge, Baton Rouge, Houma.....all benefited from oil and gas fields near them.   Simmsport, Marksville, Alexandria, Winnfield, and much of the northern Mississippi delta  did not.   

Edited by cajun
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Posted (edited)

State, EBR forge deal to return Istrouma High to local control

http://theadvocate.com/news/14482809-37/state-ebr-agree-to-return-istrouma-high-to-local-control

Top state and local school officials have struck an agreement to return control of Istrouma High School to the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, officials said Tuesday.

Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard said he has signed the agreement, as has state Superintendent of Education John White and Warren Drake, superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.

2 minutes ago, cajun said:

State, EBR forge deal to return Istrouma High to local control

Potentially big deal depending on how EBR schools handles this opportunity.   

Edited by cajun

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6 hours ago, cajun said:

State, EBR forge deal to return Istrouma High to local control

http://theadvocate.com/news/14482809-37/state-ebr-agree-to-return-istrouma-high-to-local-control

Top state and local school officials have struck an agreement to return control of Istrouma High School to the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, officials said Tuesday.

Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard said he has signed the agreement, as has state Superintendent of Education John White and Warren Drake, superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.

Potentially big deal depending on how EBR schools handles this opportunity.   

Can you elaborate on the possibilities? I want to think positive but...

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10 hours ago, cajun said:

There is a cycle of poverty and underachievement unfortunately.   As 50+ years of experience in education in my family would agree with, these cycles are not caused by public education......but lack of access to high quality public education is definitely a contributing factor (an enabler, if you will).  

African Americans were left out of the biggest expansion of the middle class this nation has ever seen between 1940 and 1960.   There's absolutely no doubt about that.   By the time Civil Rights came into focus in the latter part of the 20th century, that post-war boom was over.   Today, the best jobs require an excellent education.    The most innovative, productive fields now are technology and healthcare - both sectors require an excellent education.   Manufacturing and other blue collar work that built this nation's middle class are declining rapidly especially in the northern part of the country, the great lakes, and the mid west.  

Even today, there are simply not enough highly educated Americans to take the jobs available in tech fields.    We are highly dependent on the H1B visa for a lot of our tech jobs, and it's becoming obvious that our public schools are not preparing students for the jobs available now or in the medium-long term future.   That is not specific to poorly performing public schools in African American communities, either.   

Louisiana's ace in the hole is the oil and gas industry (when oil prices are up at least).   That's truly a way for people with barely a high school diploma to work hard and earn real money at a very young age.    it's a fairly recent trend.   IMO, that's why southern Louisiana appears to be relatively prosperous compared to parts of north Louisiana.    New Roads, Thibodeaux, Lafayette, Breaux Bridge, Baton Rouge, Houma.....all benefited from oil and gas fields near them.   Simmsport, Marksville, Alexandria, Winnfield, and much of the northern Mississippi delta  did not.   

A cycle implies a repeated set of results, there hasn't been enough time passed since the Civil Rights Act to say that a cycle exists. I'd agree with your family there. 

Manufacturing doesn't require a high education, and the United States used to be a leader in that industry. Now millions of those jobs have went overseas. 

As far as tech, does the lack of an employment base reflect people's unwillingness to enter the field? 

Manufacturing can provide the same type of opportunity that oil and gas do. 

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Work on new Broadmoor Elementary, renovated Istrouma High to begin next month

With the construction of one public school in East Baton Rouge Parish—Lee High—completed, another school is set for demolition while renovations will begin at a third to make way for new and updated facilities.

The staff at Lee High is getting unpacked and ready for the upcoming school year in the new $54.7 million college-style campus on Lee Drive, says schools spokesperson Adonica Pelichet Duggan. Next month, demolition is scheduled to begin on Broadmoor Elementary and renovations will begin on Istrouma High.

The temporary buildings at Broadmoor have been moved to Shenandoah and LaSalle elementary schools, and students and staff have been relocated to the swing space at Valley Park where the interim Lee High School was housed, Duggan says.

A new Broadmoor Elementary School will be built in its current location at 9650 Goodwood Blvd. Construction is expected to take about two years. The price tag for the project is roughly $21.8 million, Duggan says.

Istrouma High renovations, projected to cost about $21.4 million, will include a new HVAC, plumbing fixtures, electrical, lighting and data systems. Workers will also make partial roof repairs, and build a new athletic field, restroom and concession building, press box and ticket booth.

The project will go out to bid in July, Duggan says.

Other projects also underway this summer are the additions of four classrooms each in Riveroaks and Wedgewood elementary schools.

At Riveroaks Elementary, 950 Fountainbleau Dr., a new 7,990-square-foot building will house two classrooms, a computer lab and art classroom. At Wedgewood Elementary at 2330 Aspenwood Dr., a new 6,550-square-foot building will house three classrooms, a computer lab, a teacher center and student restrooms.

Building permits received by the school for the Wedgewood and Riveroaks projects identify the total cost of the buildings as $4.6 million, but the school board in late 2014 approved spending as much as $6.2 million on the project.

https://www.businessreport.com/article/work-new-broadmoor-elementary-renovated-istrouma-high-begin-next-month

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