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Architects recommend work at Tangipahoa schools as desegregation case continues

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HAMMOND, Louisiana — Architects assigned to determine the cost for campus improvements at Tangipahoa Parish's public schools say they have found five major projects that should be done with a year or two.

The Daily Star reported (http://bit.ly/1omMfLk) the assessment is part of a long-standing desegregation case against the school district that has led to federal court orders affecting many areas of school operations.

The district already has achieved unitary status — the legal term for integration — in areas of transportation and extracurricular activities.

To reach unitary status in facilities, the district must show the condition of schools is comparable throughout Tangipahoa.

An improvement costing $100,000 or more requires court approval to ensure it is contributing to the larger desegregation effort.

Christopher Bankston, principal architect with Gasaway Gasaway Bankston Architects, said the assessment will be used by a federal judge to determine priorities for improvements.

The most expensive project identified is renovation of the gymnasium at Amite High School. Its estimated cost is more than $3 million.


Information from: The Daily Star, http://www.hammondstar.com

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