St. Charles Herald-Guide

$88G windfall ‘a coup’ for schools; Chevron donates land & lots of it

By Heather R. Breaux - October 25, 2006

St. Charles Parish schools raked in the equivalent of an $88,000-plus (assessed) windfall when Chevron North American Exploration and Products Co. donated 43 acres of prime land to the school district just days ago.

And that means cash the schools might have been forced to spend on land can remain salted away for a rainy day or even used for book or equipment purchases or capital improvements to enhance the classroom experience for teachers and students.

“This is the the biggest coup I’ve seen in the parish in a long time” said school board member Clarence Savoie.

The donation includes the sites of:

•Allemands Elementary School

•R.J. Vial Elementary School

•J.B. Martin Middle School

These properties have been used for free by the schools under multiple agreements with the original owner, Texaco Inc., dating back to 1966.

“Chevron wants out of the real estate business,” said Robert Raymond, school board and parish attorney.

“The company is also donating other land that is now used as sites for fire stations and playgrounds.”

The Allemands Elementary site located in Des Allemands spans 10.7 acres, and the J.B. Martin and R.J. Vial parcels in Paradis total 32 acres.

The land, which is a small portion of a much larger 8,000-acre tract, has an estimated market value of $2048 per acre, the parish assessor’s office told the Herald-Guide.

If the land was subdivided by a developer it would likely sell for much more, possibly even in excess of $1 million based loosely on land values in the area