GONZALES – A pair of freshmen academy buildings with new classrooms for ninth graders joined to the original part of the high school campuses are picking up steam to eventually add 38,000 square feet at both East Ascension and Dutchtown High.
Ascension Public Schools instituted the program of freshmen academies at all of its high schools several years ago that includes an associate principal but where a part of the main campus. With the new buildings, designed for 600 students, it will help overcrowding and freshmen will be able to adjust in their own space.
All three of the parish’s east bank schools broke ground on new buildings in 2015 and St. Amant High opened their freshmen academy earlier this year which helped the student body return to campus after spending six months attending classes at Dutchtown in the afternoon following the August flood of 2016.
The buildings at East Ascension and Dutchtown are expected to open in 2018 according to the project manager and were funded through a bond issue and sales taxes. All the buildings were designed by architects to aesthetically look like the original structures on the campus.
The project at East Ascension High built in 1965 off Worthey Street in Gonzales costs $17 million and includes a new kitchen and cafeteria for the whole student body, while a cost of $12.8 million is being spend for the structure at Dutchtown High, which opened in 2002 and recently expanded its cafeteria, on La. 73 in Geismar.
All the buildings are two-story and either tie into the campus through walkways are directly. The new cafeteria in the freshmen academy at St. Amant, located on La. 431, made it possible for the return of students to the campus in temporary classrooms until repairs are made.