FJHS library renovation OK’d by Dist. 1 committee

Expenditures for the 2012-2013 school year in Maintenance District 1 of the St. Mary school system were increased by $278,750 after school principals presented their requests for additional funds to the district maintenance committee Monday.

Of the total, $83,750 was earmarked in maintenance funds and $195,000 in capital project funds.

Prior to the requests, expenditures for the district’s nine schools in western St. Mary Parish recommended by Maintenance Supervisor Brad Wiese totaled $361,744 from maintenance funds and $102,000 from capital projects funds.

The largest request approved will provide for the modernization of the library at Franklin Junior High School.

“Our library is antiquated,” Principal Molly Stadalis told the committee. She added that she had had students at the beginning of the school year admit they had not entered the facility at all last year.

Based on earlier expenditures at Patterson Junior High School, Superintendent Dr. Don Aguillard estimated a $100,000 price tag for a new circulation desk, workstations, tables and chairs.

The library is “so crucial to the learning process,” that Aguillard cautioned the committee to not put off the expenditure for too long.

“Let’s do it,” said school board member Wayne Deslatte. “The junior high is the one school that we’ve got that we’ve got to make some improvements in.”

“If you haven’t seen Franklin Junior High, it’s been neglected for a long, long time,” said school board member and committee chair Murphy Pontiff.

Deslatte’s motion to approve up to $100,000 in capital funds for the library was seconded by school board member Mary Lockley and approved unanimously.

The committee also granted Stadalis’ requests for construction of a slab and pavilion for outside activities, benches for the front of the school and exterior painting.

Elsewhere, principal requests the committee approved included:

—Asbestos removal in certain areas of LaGrange Elementary as well as the addition of electrical outlets, both totaling $12,000.

—Expansion and improvements to the athletic fields at Centerville High School with $60,000 in capital funds.

—Purchase of two sets of bleachers for the band on the football filed at West St. Mary High School; and up to $22,000 toward the purchase of new laptops.

—The addition of six computers and electrical hookups at J.A. Hernandez Elementary, $6,600.

—A pledge to estimate the cost to provide a new dressing area closer to the field for the girls’ softball team at Franklin Senior High and revisit the issue at a later date. FSHS Principal Ty Burdett’s other requests totaling $21,200 were included in Wiese’s recommendations. Those items include new carpet in two classrooms, service lockers and replacement of three exterior double doors.

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