Concordia Parish Academy to get portable building

Published 12:04 am Friday, February 22, 2019


VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish Academy of Math Science and Technology may have its first graduating class in 2020 after the Concordia Parish School Board opted to have a portable building added to the campus to accommodate the first senior class rather than close the high school altogether.

A motion to obtain pricing on two portable classrooms and a joining bathroom passed by a vote of 7-2 Thursday evening, with District 5B board member John Bostic and District 3A board member Ricky Raven voting against it.

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District 1A board member, Fred Butcher, estimated that the facility would cost anywhere from $85,000 to $110,000.

When the school opened its doors in 2012, it accommodated students in kindergarten through fifth grade but added a new grade level with each passing year.

The existing facility will not be large enough to have kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms in August, said District 3B board member Lisette Forman.

Due to lower enrollment numbers in the existing sophomore and junior classes, Bostic said he questioned whether the school would have enough high school students to merit adding a portable structure.

“There’s no need for a portable building if we do not go all the way through 12th-grade,” Bostic said. “We got into this in 2012 with the idea that there would be 20 students in each class. Now the sophomores have 17 without a waiting list and the juniors have 14 without a waiting list. Do we want to keep bumping money into this school when they’re not filling it? … Right now we’re facing a shortage of certified teachers. That saves us seven teachers we do not have.”

Raven said he remembered a different administration deciding to do away with portable structures in previous years, to which Bostic agreed.

“If we are going to go ahead with having a high school, we need more than just a portable building,” Bostic said. “We need to have a building.”

“We’re in an emergency now,” Forman said, interjecting. “We can’t build a building in five months.”

Board President, Raymond Riley Sr., said an agreement to added a new grade each year is already in motion. Riley said that unless six board members were to vote in favor of shutting down the high school at the academy on Thursday night, the need for a structure come August would not go away.

In other matters during Thursday’s meeting the school board:

  • Hosted a special recognition for recipients of the Sidney A. Murray Jr. Citizenship Awards in grades 3-5, the 2019 Students of the Year and the Monterey High School cheerleaders for earning second place in the National Cheerleaders Association Championships.
  • Reviewed the 2017-2018 auditors’ report, which had no findings.
  • Approved reading for proposed policies regarding the dismissal of employees; purchasing; tax and bond elections and sales; sexual harassment; recruitment and employment of personnel; sick leave and maternity and adoptive leave.