The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), in partnership with Jefferson Parish Schools and local elected officials, acknowledged the grand opening of the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy Activity Center on Tuesday. The ribbon cutting cleared the completion of a nearly $40 million, multi-facility economic development and education project in the Churchill Technology and Business Park, according to a news release.
Located in the Churchill Technology and Business Park, the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy Activity Center was the last facility constructed on an 11-acre educational complex. Plans for the growth of the three-facility complex, which also includes the two-story Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy and the JEDCO Conference Center, started in 2008. The entire project was finished utilizing State capital outlay funds in May 2022.
The multi-purpose activity center is an approximately 19,000-square-foot facility, featuring a gym with LHSAA approved basketball goals and volleyball system, stage and theater dressing room, locker rooms, concession stand, weight room and offices. It will be used to host the academy’s recreational and sports activities, pep rallies, dances, theater productions and award ceremonies. Construction on the $6.7 million facility took two years to come to fruition.
“Thank you to everyone who helped make today happen,” Dr. James Gray, superintendent of Jefferson Parish Schools, said in a news release. “This activity center is a proof point for what’s possible when our stakeholders in Jefferson Parish work together to do what’s best for children.”
“If I had to sum it up into one word, this activity center represents opportunity,” Sharmeika Daniels, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy principal, said in the news release. “This new space affords Patrick Taylor students the opportunity to host events like school dances, practice and compete on a home court, weight train and condition, perform in theater productions on stage, and celebrate accomplishments at awards ceremonies.”
The Churchill Technology and Business Park is 480-acre master planned site on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish. Nestled in the largest intermodal transportation system in the South, Churchill Park is envisioned to be a mixed-use hub for regional research and development, job creation and investment. The academy was ranked the No. 1 public school in Louisiana in 2022. With a curriculum focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the top-performing academy met the criteria for location within Churchill Park. This is also home to the Delgado River City Campus and Advanced Manufacturing Center.
“It is so exciting to celebrate the completion of a project that is more than a decade in the making,” Lacey Bordelon, JEDCO Vice President and COO, said in a news release. “JEDCO’s significant focus on workforce development and business growth aligns with Patrick F. Taylor’s mission to create a pipeline of talented minds to serve our most dynamic industries. There is a meaningful synergy in having the Patrick F. Taylor School located in the growing Churchill Technology and Business Park. To see this magnet school preparing its students for the jobs of tomorrow from right here in our expanding business park is exactly what we dreamed of back in 2008 when we made the partnership official.”
Construction commenced on the event center in 2020. The facility was designed by Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects and constructed by Buquet and LeBlanc. Schrenk Endom & Flanagan aided as the structural and civil engineers on the project. Lucien T. Vivien Jr. and Associates handled mechanical and electrical engineering.