The Lafayette Parish School Board voted on Wednesday to move forward with the process of purchasing nearly 38 acres of vacant land in the city of Lafayette.
Located between Moss Street and Louisiana Avenue, the property's initial intended use of the site would be for a consolidated parish-wide athletic complex. The board's 6-2 vote gave authority to board president Mary Morrison and superintendent Irma Trosclair to buy the property once various "due diligence" issues are resolved.
The project is expected to cost $2,650,000; board members voted to move $2.7 million from Committed for Northside High School in its Self Funded Construction Fund for the land purchase and related costs.
Above, map of land between Moss St. and Louisiana Ave.
District 5 board member Britt Latiolais explained that the board is in the "infant stages" of buying the property, but expressed how the property, located essentially at the corner of I-10 and I-49, could benefit local high schools and the economies of the surrounding cities. He noted that once the land is purchased, future boards can use it however they like, whether for a new school, athletic complex, or another project.
Elroy Broussard, who represents District 3, agreed, saying there are "endless possibilities" for the land and that an athletic complex could enhance the Northside's growth.
Board vice president and District 2 representative Tommy Angelle said he believes the board shouldn't try to "spend 100% on this property for what could be in the future." Education is the board's first priority, he said; he suggested an intergovernmental agreement between the board and the Lafayette City Council with the intent of building a new library on the land.
"To buy [the property] as a real estate investment is not what I see ourselves doing," he said.
The board's final vote was 6-2, with Tommy Angelle and Donald Aguillard voting against the proposal.
In other business, the board decided to appoint The Lemoine Company as Construction Managers of the new replacement of Lafayette High School and awarded Judice Site Contractors the low quote of $180,000 for the Carencro High drainage and parking lot improvements. It also awarded the quote of $78,744.57 to Kincade Recreation for playground equipment at Cpl. Michael Middlebrook Elementary.
You can watch the full meeting below:
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