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Concordia Parish school gyms to get improvements

VIDALIA — Gym improvements for Concordia Parish schools could soon be underway.

The Concordia Parish School Board had previously allocated funds for air conditioning units in the Ferriday High School, Ferriday Upper Elementary, Vidalia High School and Vidalia Junior High School gyms and unanimously added Vidalia Upper Elementary School’s gym to the list during a Thursday meeting.

“Those are all the gyms left to air condition,” Superintendent Whest Shirley said after the meeting. “We’re trying to get them all air conditioned and the rest already have units installed.”

The total cost for air conditioning the gyms could be approximately $500,000, Shirley said, adding the project could be finished as early as next fall.

“We have electrical and mechanical engineers looking at those gyms because we don’t want to just dump cold air into them. We want to make sure they’re air tight and that we do the right things to actually cool them,” Shirley said. “We should hear something back from (the engineers) before the March meeting. … As soon as we hear back from them, we can move forward.”

Shirley said he also anticipates the board receiving designs for a second gym at Monterey High School in March or April.

The board discussed building a second gym that could cost upwards of $2.5 million and voted to pursue getting the design in April last year and said they would keep the old gym intact.