The Dryades YMCA wellness center and natatorium next door to James Singleton Charter School is nearing completion.

Students at the school are expected to benefit from the indoor pool and wellness center.

Singleton board members, who also oversee the Drades YMCA that runs the charter school, voted to grant substantial completion to the project at their monthly meeting Tuesday.

Michael Jackson, the project architect, told board members that the two tasks remaining for the center include replacing storefront glass and fixing a leak in one of the building’s panels. The projected cost of the unfinished work is $96,750, he said.

The Dryades YMCA has filed a lawsuit against Ellis Construction for water damage to the gymnasium flooring and damage to a buried chiller pipe. Ellis Construction denies responsibility for the damages.

According to Jackson, the YMCA also will seek damages for the repeated delays in the project’s completion.

In other business, the board approved the school’s application to the state Department of Education seeking $221,071 in state LA4 to continue the school’s pre-kindergarten program that serves 40 students a year.

Singleton Charter Principal Debra Robertson updated the board on projected enrollment for next year, an estimated student count of 596 based on 289 returning applications, 14 new applications and more than 200 students without returning applications who are automatically re-enrolled at the charter school.

Board members questioned Robertson on the 85 students who indicated they will not be returning to Singleton next year and asked the principal whether she and her staff are inquiring as to why the students are choosing not to re-enroll.

Robertson said she has a team of school leaders developing a survey to send home to parents that will address their reasons for not returning.

Present at the monthly meeting were board members Priscilla Edwards, Victor Gordon, Kenneth Johnston, Darren Mire, Ed Shanklin, Sharon Sheridan, Jim Singleton and Wallace Young. Board members Kendricks Brass, John Calhoun, Addison Carey, Sidney Cates, Lance Eden, Jacque Jackson, Mary Joseph, Barbara Lacen Keller and Ron Sholes.

Heather Miller

Heather Miller is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to The Lens' Charter School Reporting Corps. She is a former staff writer for The Independent in Lafayette, and is now based in New Orleans.