Ascension schools growing faster than construction
GONZALES - The new G.W. Carver Primary school is nearly complete, but won't be ready for the first day of school. Weather delays during construction pushed the opening date back until October.
Across town, Ascension Schools are installing new temporary classroom buildings, known as 't-buildings,' at Central Primary School. The pair of t-buildings are part of three new installations across the parish, bringing the total number of temporary spaces to about 119.
"The last five years we built six primary schools and three of those primary schools already have t-buildings there, we build a primary school for a capacity of 720 and once it goes over that we build the t-buildings," said Jeff Parent, with Ascension Parish Schools.
"It's about a 400 to 500 student increase each year, we call that growing a primary school a year," said Johnnie Balfantz, Ascension Schools spokesperson.
The school system has spent $5 million dollars securing new land for future schools, but will have to find money, possibly an extended bond issue, to pay for the buildings.
"To build the physical building itself costs money, so they're going to be researching over the next several months and into the future on how we would pay for new buildings," said Balfantz.
Leaders say they don't expect t-buildings to go away, but assure parents they offer the same creature comforts as a regular classroom.