The Lafayette Parish School system looks toward leasing property as a means of acquiring revenue. The property in question sits at Ambassador and Ridge Road. The school district says leasing it won't make them rich, but it could open doors to do some hiring.
The state calls it section 16 property. Districts throughout Louisiana are given equal amounts of land that they can use to generate revenue. LPSS Director of Finance, Matthew Dugas says is an old land grant program that dates back to the late 1700's.
The school board last week approved taking proposals to lease the property. The property on Ridge and Ambassador was once a gas station and has been vacant for 6 years. Dugas says when the property was occupied the lease put about $72,000 into the school system's purse. "We make the absolute best and most use of that property and bring some revenue in and help pay for some of our teachers and supplies for the school system."
Currently, the school district caps-out at $300,000 on property leases a year. Other parish school leases along Ambassador Caffery include Logan's and Arby's restaurants. "That's just for the use of the land. They came in and built the restaurant and did all the improvements. The day they leave those improvements become the property of the school system," explains Dugas.
The parish school system has a full square mile of property south of Youngsville. Dugas says it runs through Chemin Metairie where future development is anticipated. Dugas says that land brings many possibilities.
"Historically that property has been sugar cane. We done well, but with the road there; we're hoping to build along that property and hopefully even build some schools in a much need growing section of the parish that needs some schools."
The school district has scheduled a walk-through of the property April 8, 2013 at 1:30pm.