Lafayette Parish School System looks into overcrowding at Southside High School

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YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) – Southside High School in Youngsville has roughly 1200 students.
   
However — the Lafayette Parish School Board is estimating more than 500 8th graders are zoned to be freshmen next year at the school.

Well over their comfortable capacity of 1400.

So what are the plans for the influx of students?

The school board will soon decide at their next meeting whether to add temporary butler buildings to Southside High School, or they’ll have to do a complete re-zoning, which would send some of their students to Comeaux High in August.

“So we have to figure out what we’re going to do, are we going to add more seats to the school, are we going to re-zone kids out to other schools? that’s the conversation we’re having, says Lafayette Parish School Board member Jeremy Hidalgo.

Hidalgo says the board realizes Southside High will be well over capacity next school year — and it’s a problem looking into…

“The superintendent will recommend not re-zoning this year at Southside, I’d like to explain that, there’s a lot of information behind it, and also building butler buildings here or not,” he says.

That’s why Hidalgo is hosting 2 informational sessions, on Monday and Tuesday, for parents of students at Southside High School, to answer any questions they may have, ahead of Thursday night’s board meeting.

“People are moving into this area in droves to go to these schools, which of course causes the issue of overcrowding,” he says.

They’re considering a re-zoning — which would send some students who already go to Southside and live in Youngsville, to now have to go to Comeaux.

The quality of life factor and the school that they send their kids too, is an important factor in deciding where to locate, explains, Youngsville mayor Ken Ritter.

He says his town has seen rapid growth in the past few years with new families — and both he and the school board realize with more growth, comes more students in the area.

“When we ask our residents why they choose to relocate to Youngsville, or why they choose to build a home in Youngsville, what we hear is the quality of the schools and the education they receive,” Ritter says.

Hidalgo adds: “No student is going to receive less of an education, at one campus over another.”

Now in phase 2 of Southside High’s master plan, is to add another wing, which would cost roughly $18.5 million, but would move the school’s capacity to 2000.

Mayor Ken Ritter is for it, however, Hidalgo says it’s not in the school board’s budget at this time.

The meetings will be at 6 p.m. Monday, January 14, and 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 15 in the Southside High cafeteria.

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