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Istrouma High renovations expected to begin this summer

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BATON ROUGE - Renovations to get Istrouma High School back open are expected to begin in a couple of months.

A committee, primarily made up of Istrouma alumni met Monday night to discuss school colors, mascots and igniting excitement for the school to reopen.

The renovation designs are about 90 percent complete and the bidding process begins soon, followed by construction. The bones of the school will remain the same but the guts, including HVAC and electrical will be removed and replaced.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System says it has identified more than $20 million for improvements.

"It's going to be an exciting campus once again and we're just very, very pumped about that," school board president Barbara Freiberg said.

To make up for the renovation costs, the board says it will have to hold off on some of their normal projects, including window replacements and parking lot repaving.

Istrouma advisory council chair Jacqueline Sims says she's looking forward to bringing Istrouma back to the 70805 community.

"I truly understand the value of an education and how quality education can truly raise someone above poverty," she said.

Istrouma will offer career and technical programs focusing on carpentry, industrial maintenance, pipe-fitting, and production safety. Baton Rouge Community College dual enrollment opportunities will also be included.

"Breathing life back into this community," said Sims. "That's what we're most excited about."

Istrouma High and Middle Magnet are expected to reopen August, 2017, which will be the school's 100th year.

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