New building approved for school

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2001


RESERVE – East St. John High School in Reserve will be getting a new classroom building for its ninth-graders soon. At Thursday night’s St. John Parish School Board meeting the board voted to approve the lowest bid for the new building, which will make up the ninth-grade wing. Gen-Con of Vacherie will be constructing the metal building, which will accommodate 10 classes and hold over around 250 students. It will cost $737,417, which is around $260,000 under the original budget. According to Alton Darby, an architect for the school board, the parish will get a great deal on the 12,500-square-foot addition to East St John. At $59 a square foot the parish is saving about $15 to $20 a square foot. Darby said the costs are low because of the time of year, when construction has slowed down and businesses are looking for work. Gen-Con had 10 competitors for the job, an unusually high number of bidders, said Darby. The building, which is designed to withstand extreme hurricane conditions, will include a brick ledge for brick-laying at a later date. Though board member Clarence Triche suggested adding a brick finish to the building now since the bid was under budget, the board was advised against it since it would have to change the speculations and solicit bids again. Board member James Madere said the extra money could be put to better use. “Let’s put the money on the kids, not the cosmetics,” he said. Darby said the bricks could be added at any time.