The DeSoto Parish (La.) School District has broken ground on a new facility in Grand Cane for its alternative education program.
The district says the $2.8 million, 18,000-square-foot facility will replace a collection of portable buildings in Mansfield.
The program accommodates students with legally required long-term expulsions as well as those on short-term suspensions. The students receive counseling focused on their misbehavior and instruction from a certified teacher.
The facility will have six classrooms, a computer lab, administrative/counseling offices, and a multipurpose room doubling as a half-court gymnasium/cafeteria.
“The present location has become outdated and there were security concerns as well,” says Darrell Hampton, the district's director of student services. “The portable classrooms are aging at an alarming rate, and the gym had taken more patchwork than it could handle, including a lack of air conditioning.
"The new facility will have everyone under one roof with secured access. Beyond that, the goal of the center is to redirect students and transition them back into their regular school sites. The new facility is designed with the student success as the top priority.”
Officials expect the facility will be completed in fall 2017.