(AVONDALE, La) — The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), in partnership with JP Schools and local elected officials, celebrated the grand opening of the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy Activity Center Tuesday. The ribbon cutting marked the completion of a nearly $40 million, multi-facility economic and education project in the Churchill Technology and Business Park.
Located in the Churchill Technology and Business Park, the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy Activity Center was the final facility constructed on an 11-acre educational complex. Plans for the development of the three-facility complex, which also includes the two-story Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy and the JEDCO Conference Center, began in 2008. The full project was completed using State capital outlay funds in May 2022.
Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy’s multi-purpose activity center is a nearly 19,000- square-foot facility, featuring a gym with LHSAA approved basketball goals and volleyball system, stage and theatre dressing room, locker rooms, concession stand, weight room, and offices. It will be used to host Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology 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 complete.
“Thank you to everyone who helped make today happen,” said Dr. James Gray, Superintendent of Jefferson Parish Schools. “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,” said Sharmeika Daniels, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy principal. “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. Situated 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 Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy was ranked the #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, which 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,” said JEDCO Vice President and COO Lacey Bordelon. “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 began on the event center in 2020. The facility was designed by Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects and constructed by Buquet and LeBlanc. Schrenk Endom & Flanagan served as the structural and civil engineers on the project while Lucien T. Vivien Jr. and Associates handled mechanical and electrical engineering.