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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Work on new Ascension Parish schools going down to the wire

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DUTCHTOWN- One week away from the first day of school, construction is still underway at Dutchtown Middle School where crews are building a new gym, expanding the cafeteria and building a new classroom building.

But school administrators say construction shouldn't affect students.

"It does look like a construction site, that'll be cleaned up, but there will still be projects going on, like some of the inside work on the cafeteria, but it will be cleaned up and look a lot different come the first day of school," said Johnnie Balfantz with Ascension Public Schools.

Across the parish at St. Amant Middle School, work is winding down as staff members prepare for their first day.  The school's gym was completely renovated and an additional lobby, which connects the class buildings, was added.

"Anytime you add something and the community comes in and is a part of it more, it makes your school much better," said Principal Christy Bourgeois at St. Amant Middle.

The construction is paid for by a $100 million bond renewal passed in 2009, which will benefit a total of twenty schools across the district.

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