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The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board is one step closer to securing revenue either for construction of a new central office building or renovation to the facility it occupies.

The state Bond Commission approved a Priority 5 line of credit last month for the School Board to use on either option. 

The $2.4 million line of credit would come on top of the $3.8 million in Priority 1 funding lawmakers approved during the 2020 legislative session. 

The funds can be used only for expenses linked to a new or refurbished office building.

The state earmarked those funds to Pointe Coupee Parish after floodwater from Hurricane Gustav in 2008 caused extensive damage to the Central Office building on Morganza Highway.

The next step will involve House Bill 2, the Capital Outlay Bill, which will go before legislators when the regular session begins next week at the State Capitol.

“When that bill comes out in the session, it will allow conversion of those funds from Priority 5 money to Priority 1, which means they will be able to draw that money and give them the ability to have all the funding needed to get the project going,” said state Rep. Jeremy LaCombe, D-Fordoche, who brought the proposal to the Bond Commission. 

In December, architect David Mougeot brought two plans before the board. One showed designs for upgrades for the current facility the board has occupied as a “temporary” site since 2008, or a new facility on the site of the shuttered Labarre Elementary School in front of the STEM academy.

The plans are based on the $3.8 million immediately available to the school system. 

Between 30 percent and 50 percent of the Napoleon Street facility would be redone as part the plan, which would include a covered pavilion for outdoor training meetings.

For the same amount of money, the facility at Labarre would allow for a 12,000-square-foot building, and the current facility would remain School Board property.

The facility on Napoleon Street will not undergo renovations if the board opts for a new building at Labarre.