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LPSS approves purchase of portable classrooms for Southside High

Board also swears in new member, discusses budget schedule
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Posted at 7:28 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 00:18:22-05

The Lafayette Parish School Board met tonight to focus on personnel matters and to discuss the purchase of portable buildings at Southside High School.

LPSS appointed Hannah Smith Mason to serve out the final weeks of board member Erick Knezek's term and Smith Mason was sworn in at tonight's meeting.

Smith Mason won the election for the District 8 seat in October. Knezek did not seek re-election and his resignation was effective the day he married an attorney who is handling several cases involving LPSS. He tells KATC he asked for an ethics opinion, but resigned early just in case.

The board also discussed portable buildings at Southside High School. First, they rejected bids previously submitted for those buildings because all of the bids exceeded the budget. The second item revised the plan for said portable buildings.

The board voted to purchase and set up with USDA funding two new portable double classroom buildings for Southside.

Total estimated costs for the two buildings is $735,800. The board plans on using funds from the Portables Account Budget and a Contingency Budget.

That motion was passed by a vote of 5-3 with one member abstaining.

Southside High School's staff predicted the school would need portable classrooms in the next few years to compensate for a growing student population. The plan was approved in January and the board has been discussing the issue since then.

Read more about the portables issue here and here.

Also on the agenda tonight was a discussion about the proposed budget hearing schedule for the 2020-2021 budget.

Following several board meetings scheduled for February through March of next year, the board is set to meet on May 6 to adopt the budget for the next fiscal year.

KATC's Chris Welty was at tonight's meeting and will have the latest details tonight at 10.