State approves $51.2 million to build new Kenner charter school

FILE – House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks to Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy students during a visit to the school in Kenner on Friday, February 23, 2018. The school is an open enrollment charter school. (Photo by Brett Duke, | The Times-Picayune)(BRETT DUKE)








The State Bond commission has approved the sale of $51.2 million in bonds to fund the construction of a new school building for Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy. The school is expected to be completed in phases on a 20-acre campus at Vintage and Loyola drives.

The first phase will be construction of the high school building for grades 9-12. It is expected to start this summer, according to the school’s CEO Patty Glaser. The high school students are currently housed on the Vintage Drive site in modular classrooms.

The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission and Port District, known as JEDCO, received state approval to incur the debt on April 26. It will make a loan to the nonprofit Friends of Discovery Health Science Foundation, which will oversee construction of the school.

School officials have said the goal is to build a facility to accommodate 2,000 students ages 4 to 18. The A-rated, open-enrollment charter school has a wait list of more than 1,000 students, Glaser said.

The school is in its fifth year of operation. The Jefferson Parish School Board recently approved a 10-year operating license for the school.

The school operates three different sites, including an early childhood center in Kenner’s Rivertown and an elementary school campus on Maine Avenue in Metairie.

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