The Bottom Line
On October 22, voters in Lafayette Parish will decide if they will grant 25 mills in new property taxes to improve existing schools and build new ones in the Lafayette Parish School System. Of the 25 mills, 23 would be dedicated to implementation of the Master Plan, and 2 would be dedicated to maintenance of school buildings. The tax would pay for seven new schools, put new classroom wings at six schools, and significant renovations or upgrades at every other school in Lafayette Parish.
The Master Plan Process
Several years ago, the school system asked for volunteers to create a group that would assess our facilities and make recommendations. That group eventually evolved into a grassroots organization, the Community Coalition for Lafayette Schools. The coalition looked at our schools for more than a year, and at the end of their analysis recommended that the school board hire a facilities planning firm to create a Master Facilities Plan.
The board issued RFPs for a firm. The coalition recommended the board hire a Baton Rouge firm, CSRS, because of the community involvement component of their RFP. The board hired them.
Over the next year, CSRS's architects and engineers went through our schools with a fine tooth comb, and reported their findings on the state of our buildings. At the same time, they held a series of community forums. At these forums, they presented information about the buildings, demographics and educational needs. They asked the community members there to rank needs and make recommendations.
From that information came the master plan, which CSRS presented to the board. The board approved it. CSRS also recommended that the board create a Citizens' Oversight Committee that would make recommendations to the board about the plan, and would oversee any money spent on the plan, to make sure it was spent according to the community's desires.
The board took applications from the public and created that Committee. The committee met and recommended that the board place a property tax on the October 22 ballot. The board did that as well. That is how this all came about.
This page is designed to provide voters with access to the information they need to make a decision about this tax.
Master Plan - This is the plan created by CSRS in conjunction with the community, and the master plan that would be funded by the money raised by this tax.
List of Projects in Phase I - This is a list of projects that would be funded by this tax. Some schools will be replaced, some would receive additions, and some would just receive upgrades and rennovations.
Long-range plans for individual schools - You can look at these documents to see what is planned for the schools in your neighborhood.
Assessments of individual schools - You can look at these documents to see what the engineers and architects found when they inspected the schools in your neighborhood.
Text of the proposition - This is the actual proposition that you will see on the October 22 ballot.
Formulas and charts to determine what this will cost individual homeowners - You can use this formula to determine how much your property tax bill will increase, or you can check our chart of common home values to see if yours is addressed.
Photo galleries of three schools that would be replaced - If you want to see for yourself.
Video tours of three schools that would be replaced - If you prefer video over photographs.
Still have questions?
Click here for our Frequently Asked Questions section.