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Istrouma High renovation costs more than anticipated

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BATON ROUGE - At a community event Wednesday night, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System discussed a rough plan to get students back in classrooms at Istrouma High.

Superintendent Warren Drake said the price to make all the renovations necessary is between $17 and $20 million. The district doesn't have all the funding, yet.

"We are scrubbing the budget," Drake said. "Taking a look at everything in our budget to make sure we can open this school right."

Alumni members have been fighting to get the school back open since the school closed in 2012.

"I was a volunteer at Istrouma at the time, so I guess it affected me more because of the kids," Eric Brown said, class of 1988. "They were trying to figure out what they were going to do."

Those students are now scattered at various other high schools around Baton Rouge.

Drake, who used to teach summer school at Istrouma, says the structure itself is in good shape but the inside electrical, HVAC, roofing and flooring needs to be replaced.

Some community members at the event tonight were concerned about the money not being there in time, where it will come from and if it's enough to get the job done.

"I just think that when we look at the money that's allocated towards Istrouma High school, compared to that which they spent at Baton Rouge High or Lee High School, it's just not equitable," said business owner Gary Chambers.

Some of the budget, depends on the career and technical programs in the project.

Drake anticipates an August 2017 opening of Istrouma High.



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