Richwood Schools get money for new buildings/improvements - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Richwood Schools get money for new buildings/improvements

Posted: Updated: Feb 1, 2013 06:17 PM

RICHWOOD, La. (KNOE 8 News)- The Ouachita Parish School Board has given Richwood High and Middle School $2.2 million dollars for additions and upgrades.

Richwood High School is plagued with a high number of drop-outs and a low number of graduates who advance to college.

To address the issues, school leaders drew up a plan to build a vocational school. "This is going to be really good for those students to have a skill, so they can go straight into the work force," said Richwood High Principal Sharilynn Loche. 

Loche started planning the school a year ago, it will hold the existing medical programs, plus new ones like manufacturing, welding, cosmetology, and dental hygienist classes. "I think these students having something they can do hands on, something they can really see that's going to benefit them, might help us to keep some of these students in school that would otherwise drop out," said Loche.

But the plans were just an idea, until Thursday night when the Ouachita Parish School Board approved $2.2 million dollars for the school and other upgrades, like renovations to the high school's field house and a new weight room for Richwood Middle School.

Principal Orlando Freemont says the facility was slashed from the original building plan because of budget cuts. "I've looked forward to it and I'm glad this day has finally come," said Freemont and adds it will benefit student health and is grateful it has been approved.

"I'm just thankful to be in a district that has the resources to provide this type of building for our students," said Freemont.

The funds for these projects come from the east side bond issue and the sale of timber on the eastern side of the school district. The vocational school will be ready to open its doors at the end of 2014.

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