Schools being renovated, improved, upgraded all over the parish

By Josh Beavers

You may have noticed a lot of recent renovations and additions to schools across the parish. That’s because the Webster Parish School System was hard at work before the end of last school year, over the summer, and continuing into this year to improve its institutes of learning parish-wide.

The Journal spoke with Jeff Franklin, Supervisor of Transportation, Maintenance, and Security for the district, about all of the improvements made to our school campuses.

As follows is the lengthy list of recent upgrades made across Webster Parish Schools:

Richardson and Jones building remodels – This project consisted of reroofing both schools, replacing all the HVAC equipment at both, new windows and exterior doors at both, new staff restrooms at both, replacement of sewer mains at both, electrical upgrades, and a new intercom system at both.

Doyline gym remodel – This project consisted of a complete gutting of the present gym and rebuilding of the bleachers, concession areas, spectator restrooms, player locker rooms, new LED lighting, new ceiling and paint, and a new gym floor.

Lakeside and Central parking lot upgrades and resurfacing – This project included much needed additional parking at both schools, a turning lane at Lakeside, a car staging area for student pick-up at Central, upgraded drainage at both schools, relocation of driveways at Central, and the complete resurfacing of all asphalt areas at both schools.

Central gym remodel- This project consisted of new “skin” on the exterior of the building, new ceiling, paint, LED lighting, and bleachers, and a complete refinish of the gym floor.

North Webster Junior High football stadium lights – This project consisted of new LED stadium lights which is the first part of a larger stadium upgrade project.

North Webster High School football stadium lights – This project consisted of new state-of-the-art LED lighting for the football field, track, and parking lot area. This project was funded by a grant from the LA Public Service Commission.

Minden High School multi-purpose building – This project began in February and has suffered many setbacks due to an usually wet spring and summer and difficult soil and groundwater conditions. When completed this building will house the Minden High Crimson Tide football team, the Minden High Jr. ROTC, provide an auxiliary gym, and additional classroom space. This project should be complete sometime next fall.

During our interview, The Journal asked Mr. Franklin if there was any one project that stands out.

“The Richardson and Jones School remodel stands out the most,” he told us. “This project has allowed us to provide much needed curb appeal to both buildings while replacing the very old HVAC systems and leaking roofs. I feel we are really getting a lot for our money invested at these two schools.”

He went on to thank the taxpayers of Webster Parish for allowing the system to provide upgrades to the district’s institutes of learning.

“All of these projects are much needed projects for our districts and are provided by funding from the gracious voters in the individual school districts that see a need for adequate educational and sport facilities for the students of Webster Parish,” he said. “Over the years, the residents of Webster Parish have done an outstanding job of approving the necessary funding to ensure our students can have the best possible schools and athletic facilities.”