Construction gets underway on new elementary school in north Bossier
School officials and local dignitaries traded business suits and high heels for rain boots and umbrellas during last week’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new Kingston Elementary School.
Rain and cold temperatures didn’t dampen the high spirited occasion as it marked the first major construction project for the Bossier Parish School System. Superintendent D.C. Machen said the rain, however, was an answered prayer and it made for, what some called, the “easiest groundbreaking ceremony yet.”
Kingston Elementary School, located on property between Bossier City and Benton, is designed to alleviate growing pains at Legacy Elementary and Benton Elementary. Keith Norwood, Supervisor of Planning and Construction for Bossier Schools, said the overall size of the school is comparable, if not bigger, to some middle schools in the parish.
He further described the new 1,000 student elementary school as “modern, safe and secure.” Features will include more than 80,000 square feet of space with 50 total classrooms, 300 parking spaces and a combination cafeteria and gymnasium that will accommodate large crowds for school events.
“This will truly be a neighborhood school and there will be life within these walls,” Norwood said, describing the school that will be located on Fairbird Avenue.
Sonja Bailes, public relations liaison for Bossier Schools, said the school system has reached the 22,000 student enrollment mark. To address the rapid growth across Bossier Parish, voters approved a $210 million bond referendum in April 2012 to build new schools and improve existing ones, better positioning Bossier Schools for the present and future and offering students a desirable learning environment.
Machen emphasized his excitement by thanking city, parish and state government entities for their help with the project. He added that Kingston Elementary will continue the tradition of neighborhood schools in Bossier Parish, noting the schools location to adjacent subdivisions.
The first classes at Kingston Elementary will report to school in the fall of 2015. Bailes announced that a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning (BPSTIL) will be held in February 2014.