Lafayette

Oct 10, 2011 11:14 PM by Maddie Garrett

Open Houses Show What's Wrong with Lafayette Schools

Lafayette Parish Schools each hosted open houses Monday night to show the public what's wrong with the schools, as an effort to inform tax payers about the $561 million bond to fund the LPSS Master Facilities Plan.

Under the plan seven schools would be rebuilt, including the Parish's two largest, Lafayette High and Northside. All other schools would undergo major renovations and upgrades, along with long term maintenance plans.

And as parents got to tour various schools in the Parish, faculty pointed out just what all needs to be repaired.

"I got to see Alleman which is disgusting and this one is in pretty bad shape too," said John Munsell after he toured Lafayette High.

Munsell has four children in the Lafayette School System. After taking a look at his their schools, he said he wasn't happy with what he found.

"I got to see first hand some of the conditions. I mean when you walk into a room and you smell the mold... you know you've got a big problem," said Munsell.

LJ Alleman Middle Schools has some of the worst conditions in the Parish, it's also set to be completely rebuilt. But Alleman shares many of the same problems as a majority of Lafayette schools: It's almost 60 years old, has inadequate electrical systems and half of its students are in portable buildings.

"It's hard for me to say that it's horrible because I work here and I try to make the environment as pleasant as possible, however we're to the point where our technology, we can't keep up with technology in the classrooms. We have as much technology as we can but it becomes an electrical problem," said Alleman's principal, Kathy Aloisio.

Only a few parents came to Alleman's open house though, Lafayette High had a better turnout with about 20. But those who came agreed, the $561 million bond would be worth it.

"I did the numbers, for an average home it costs less than a can of coca cola a day to pay for this, I think we can all do that," said parent Howard Wiess.

"Really it's not a lot of money. And the reality is there's no other way to fund this, it has to be funded off of a millage," said Munsell.

Taxpayers will vote on the bond proposal that will include a 23 mills property tax levied for the master plan, and a 2 mills property tax for its maintenance. That adds up to about $195 per year for 20 years for the average household. Election day is October 22, 2011.

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