Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy plans to begin construction this summer on a new campus.

Louisiana charter school seeks approval to move forward with new campus

June 6, 2018
Jefferson Parish board and city of Kenner must approve proposed site for new Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy.

Officials with a Louisiana charter school want to build a new $51 million campus, but they can't move forward until the city of Kenner and the Jefferson Parish School Board undo a subdivision of the 20-acre site.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the planned site for a new Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy was subdivided into two separate tracts in the 1990s and the charter school can't construct any improvements that cross the boundary lines of the two tracts without approvals from the city and the school board.

The school board has leased the site in Kenner for several years to the charter school's nonprofit foundation.

"Unless the property is again re-subdivided into a single tract, Kenner Discovery will be unable to construct any improvements that cross the boundary lines of the two tracts," a proposed school board resolution states. "This effectively renders the property unusable for its intended purpose," 

The Jefferson Parish school board recently approved a 10-year operating agreement for the charter.

The charter school, founded in 2013, received approval in May from the State Bond Commission to borrow $51.2 million to build a new school on the Kenner site.

Kenner Discovery now operates at three different sites in Kenner and has more than 1,200 students in prekindergarten through 10th grade. It has a waiting list of more than 1,000 students, school officials have said.

The new school is expected to be completed in phases; the first phase calls for construction of a high school for grades 9 to 12. Construction is expected to start in July.

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