Breaking down Bolton’s proposed renovations for magnet school

Alliance Design Group, based in Alexandria, has come up with a plan to convert Bolton into a magnet school.
Published: Oct. 5, 2023 at 4:59 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2023 at 5:13 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - On October 3, the Rapides Parish School Board unanimously voted to begin the process of renovating Bolton High School as it converts into a magnet school starting next year. After discussion over the school’s windows and how it would affect its historical status, a motion was passed to allow the board to authorize bids for those renovations to be in the works.

Alliance Design Group, based in Alexandria, came up with a plan to convert Bolton into a magnet school. Here’s what we know about the proposed specifics.

The plan is broken down into two phases. Phase one consists of working on the high school’s interior and exterior, the auditorium, the football field, boys’ and girls’ gyms, ROTC, the concession stand, equipment and the boys’ baseball stadium. By itself, phase one has an estimated total cost of $4.9 million. That funding comes straight from the District 62 bond.

Phase two, subject to revision based on school program changes, would entail working more on the boys’ and girls’ gym, ROTC, the auditorium and the high school interior. This phase adds the weight room and the high school conservatory, bringing phase two’s cost to $839,790.

Because the board chose option two on the windows, which means repainting, resealing and repairing the windows and adding interior storm windows, the upfront cost reduction comes out to $585,000, bringing the resulting total cost estimate for both phases to be $5.2 million. Rapides Parish School Superintendent Jeff Powell said the district is excited about starting this project as well as many others.

“It really is an exciting time,” said Powell. “We know that there are a lot of processes and procedures that we have to go through, but to know that we have some very meaningful updates and needed renovations taking place at our schools, it’s an extremely exciting time here in Rapides Parish Public Schools.”

The District 62 Bond encompasses the Alexandria area and includes the ASH, Peabody and Bolton feeder systems. Renovations for phase one are expected to begin in November, but that will only take place when the state approves what Alliance has planned for the magnet school. The proposed renovation plan as a whole would successfully bring in 6-12 graders to Bolton next school year and Pre-K-12 graders the following year.

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