Planning Predesign Process Text Version
ASCENSION INVESTS AN AVERAGE OF $750,000 IN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR NEW SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION.
Ascension Public Schools regularly monitors population and student enrollment to ensure that we fulfill our legal mandate to meet the educational needs of our growing parish. Maintaining appropriate school sizes and student teacher ratios are essential to providing great experiences for our students. Great administrators, teachers, support employees, and great communities are a credit to our widespread attractiveness and success.
SITE SELECTION AND SITE DEVELOPMENT
When considering property for purchase, the Ascension Parish School Board typically procures a Development Report which includes an environmental report, zoning classification, flood plain classification, existing land elevations, preliminary wetlands inventory, and many other factors that ensure a quality site and a guide for proper development of the site.
Prior to purchasing a new school site, The Ascension Parish School Board engages a vendor to research and prove clear title on all properties.
TOPO AND BOUNDARY SURVEYS
The Ascension Parish School Board procures topographical and boundary surveys for each site to ensure that our improvements are properly laid out in accordance with planning, zoning and other building code requirements. The surveys are used by our architects to develop site plans that facilitate proper pedestrian and traffic flows on our campuses.
WETLANDS, FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT AND DRAINAGE
As we develop new schools to address growth, our process engages the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine where wetlands exist on our sites. Our development is guided by strict laws and the USACOE Wetlands Permit process. Our development plans also include drainage structures that are guided by parish ordinances. As with any development, the School Board is required to prepare drainage studies and/or calculations to ensure that our improvements do not adversely impact our neighbors or the flood plain. Our drainage calculations and designs are reviewed and permitted by the Ascension Parish Government.
In the course of building new schools, the Ascension Parish School Board funds the construction or improvements to any utility that is not available at the site. Examples of typical expenses include new sewer plants, water line extensions, gas and power line extensions.
We currently own and operate 17 Sewer Plants in Ascension Parish. New sewer plants have cost $400,000 to $550,000 per site. Our sewer plants are typically for our school use only, however, we seek agreements with parish government in situations where our plants can be converted to “for public use” situations. Our role in keeping up with growth includes development of our own infrastructure as the infrastructure does not exist in many areas of the parish.
TRAFFIC STUDIES AND IMPROVEMENTS
In order to ensure safe travels in the areas of our new schools, the Ascension Parish School Board procures traffic studies from professional engineers. These studies cost up to $20,000 and include models of existing traffic flows as well as suggested improvements. We have built numerous turn lanes on state highways, ranging in cost from $300,000 to $500,000. We often include long driveways on the sites to provide stack up space for car rider lines to wait on our site as opposed to the adjacent roadways. These drives can cost $200,000 to $300,000. Our traffic improvements are in collaboration with the authority having jurisdiction over the adjacent roads such as DOTD or parish government. Our role in keeping up with growth has included active participation in traffic improvements.