By Luke Britt
The Union Parish School Board voted at its regular monthly meeting last week to change how a planned expansion of the Union Parish High School stadium is funded, and in so doing, freed up money to purchase a new building for its Information Technology department.
The new funding plan was made possible by the sale of land and buildings occupied by Downsville Community Charter School. The UPSB sold the property to DCCS for earlier this year.
The stadium expansion includes the addition of 225 seats to north end of the stadium on the home team side and the relocation of the main stadium entrance away from the concession area. The expansion will allow the creation of, in part, a student seating section, Superintendent Kristy Fine said.
Originally, the school board budgeted federal COVID grant money to pay for the project, but with the sale of the Downsville community property now complete, the board decided to fund the expansion with the proceeds from that sale and to reallocate the grant money to purchase a $400,000 manufactured building for the IT department, Fine said.
The stadium expansion should be complete before the start of the 2024 football season, she said.
The school system’s IT department currently occupies space in multiple old buildings, Fine said, and the new Technology and Data Center will allow the department to consolidate into a single facility.
During the same meeting, the Board considered a motion to use additional COVID grant money to purchase three new school busses, but tabled the motion because the Board’s transportation committee had not reviewed or approved the purchase. Fine said the committee will consider the purchase request and make a recommendation to the Board at its February meeting.
The board also agreed to purchase three generators that will provide emergency power where needed during outages. The cost of the generators is $150,000.
The board also approved the purchase and installation of a new air conditioning system and new ductwork for the Central Office building at a cost of $140,000.
UPSB shuffles funds to expand stadium DCCS sale made expansion and new IT facility possible
By Luke Britt