Caddo superintendent's $108M reinvestment plan includes closing 6 schools

A breakdown of numbers for Superintendent Goree's plan.
A breakdown of numbers for Superintendent Goree's plan.

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Caddo Parish Schools Superintendent Lamar Goree has announced a $108 million plan to reinvest in the district's schools, but it also includes the closure of 6 of them.

Superintendent Goree says the plan has been carefully thought out, "This is not something we started at Thanksgiving break."

Campuses slated for closure include Barret Paideia Academy, Creswell Elementary, E.B. Williams-Stoner Hill Elementary, the current Blanchard Elementary site, Jack P. Timmons Elementary and Alexander Learning Center.

Goree says the closures will save $1.5 million each year in maintenance, upkeep, and utility costs.

"You know I do think it is always an emotional conversation when it comes to closing schools," said Goree.

"But I also think it is a clear expectation in the community that we right size our district and we are efficient with the number of schools that we are operating which in turn makes us more efficient with educating students."

Under the plan, 3 new schools to make up for the schools that will be closed. The schools will be built in Blanchard, Highland, and South East Shreveport.

"Every school that we are closing though, our commitment from our district is to take them to something better," said Goree.

The plan also calls for the addition of new wings to four schools, new gyms, upgraded science labs, a new library at Byrd High School, air conditioned buses, and activity centers, among other improvements.

If the school board approves the plan in January, it will be up to voters will decide whether to renew a school board millage in May.

If approved, the funds will be available as soon as the fall and construction would happen within the next 3-to-6 years.

He says there is no "plan b" right now if voters vote it down.

Goree hopes voters will approve of it because it is a renewal and not new taxes.

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