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School Board to discuss future projects Thursday

Building and Grounds committee to meet Feb. 18

The Bossier Parish School Board is undecided on which projects to fund with the remaining $94 million from the 2012 bond referendum.

A motion made by the building and grounds committee failed to pass during last week’s school board meeting. The committee recommended the board “approve the re-allocation of funds

in the 2012 Bond Construction Program allocating $24 million for the renovation of Benton High School and $20.5 million for the renovation of Haughton High and to maintain the $42 million allocated for construction of Benton Middle School and $3.17 million allocated for renovations at Bossier High School.”

Had the motion passed, the school board would have less than $5 million to address the remaining list of projects.

Mike Mosura, District 5 representative and committee member, was the first to speak against the motion, despite being in favor of it 48 hours earlier.

“I went home and couldn’t sleep over how the committee had spent it,” Mosura said. “I think it’s only fair that we go back to committee, revisit the list and know exactly what we are going to do.”

Dennis Bamburg, District 12 representative and committee chairman, agreed with Mosura’s comments.

“We met for two and a half hours and in five minutes decided how to spend $80 million because of an event happening next door,” Bamburg said, referring to the parish-wide poetry contest that took place at Airline High School on the night of the committee meeting.

The committee’s motion failed by an 8-4 vote. Those against it say more time is needed to examine the remaining projects list closely. By prioritizing the list, the school board intends to address needs across the parish while spending the remaining funds wisely.

Voters approved a $210 million bond referendum in April 2012 to build new schools and improve existing ones to address the rapid growth across Bossier Parish. Projects have included Kingston Elementary, Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning, constructing a brand new middle school in Haughton, new classroom wings at W.T. Lewis Elementary, renovations at Airline High School, electrical upgrades at Bossier High School, electrical and fire alarm upgrades to Carrie Martin Elementary, and numerous paving projects.

The building and grounds committee is now tasked with deciding which projects will be funded with the remaining $94 million. The committee will meet Thursday, Feb. 18, at 4:30 p.m., prior to the school board’s regular session meeting at 6 p.m.

Meetings are held at the Bossier Instructional Center, located at 2719 Airline Drive in Bossier City.

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