YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) — At Southside High School the dream of having a football stadium is one step closer to becoming reality after the school board’s approval of a new tax district.
Eric David, a Southside High School parent, said, “Seven years worth of work to get to that point. But with all that being said, we know that we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
For the past seven years, David and other parents of Southside High School students have pushed for the development of a stadium at the school.
In an attempt to see progress, parents worked with school board representative Donald Aguillard to propose a tax that would only be applied to residents living in the southside school zone.
The five-year tax would soley go towards funding the school’s stadium.
“In five years it falls off,” David said. “The actual amount of that tax will decrease over the five-year periods. For the people that live in the southside zone, it’s a chance for them to have a tangible product that they can drive by in 20 years and say hey I helped build that.”
With the tax expected to be voted on by residents in the school zone in November’s election, it’s already being challenged by those who don’t like the idea.
Mary Morrison, from Lafayette Parish School Board District 1, said, “You pay taxes on a school you may not attend, because we’re growing on the south side, I think we just need to give ourselves more time for planning.”
Even a facebook group has already been created for residents disagreeing with the idea of the tax.
In response, David said this method of taxing has already proven to be beneficial in other areas, and he feels the same can be said for Youngsville.
“Anytime that you can put into a school, that increases property values for businesses and houses,” David said. “And look this isn’t a new formula for a tax, Calcasieu Parish has done this in the past. Texas uses this model a lot. It’s successful, it’s worked other places and I know it’s the right thing to have southside like every other school in our parish that has a stadium at their campus; and that’s what we need. I have no doubt if the citizens feel this is worth it, then they’ll support it.”
David said there is another meeting scheduled in July to present the plans and numbers to the school board for their approval to add the tax to the ballad for November’s election.
He said if the tax is approved in November, construction on Southside’s stadium could begin as early as January 2024.