Board re-elects leaders, talks about projects

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2002


LUTCHER – The St. James Parish School Board re-elected president and vice president, Kenneth Foret and Charles Nailor, prior to discussing recent projects and upcoming propositions at a recent meeting.

Nailor headed the building committee meeting report and asked whether three projects could be accepted as substantially complete. Terry McCreary, the supervisor of operations and maintenance, said he had visited the three sites and found all three were unfinished. McCreary noticed such things as ruts behind the St. James High practice gym, as well as roofing material and screws in Lutcher Elementary School’s gutters after contractors replaced and repaired the air conditioning units and roofs.

McCreary said the ruts behind St. James High need to be filled in properly and the loose material in Lutcher Elementary’s gutters need to be cleaned before the two projects can be deemed substantially complete. The respective contractors are responsible for completing these and other problem items that were on the punch lists.

The third project, the replacement of a sewerage treatment plant at Vacherie Elementary School, can not be considered complete until the contractor tests the water coming from the plant and verifies the results with the state.

A memorandum was also introduced to recommend the cancellation of the one-year “rollover” extension in the current contract of the parish’s two school athletic directors/head football coaches. The current addendum states “either party may cancel the one-year extension by giving written notice no later than July 1.” The school board will discuss the change Jan. 22 at its next scheduled meeting.

The board will also discuss plans to change the technology infrastructure in St. James Parish schools. Sonny Zeringue and Rhonda Lee have been investigating various solutions for the last three years to help bring real-time information to the students. Currently, the infrastructure uses wired LANs (Local Area Networks) in each school, which does not allow students and teachers to have access to real-time information anywhere. Zeringue and Lee have spoken to numerous companies and decided a wireless network working alongside the existing infrastructure would be the most effective and economical solution for the school system.

Two companies have provided proposals to establish the wireless networks for all schools. Stargazer Technologies was chosen for the project and Zeringue and Lee will request the $63,459 in funding to cover the cost of the project. The school system received a commitment letter during the fall of 2001 for the funding of the wireless LANs for seven schools: Fifth Ward Elementary, Gramercy Elementary, Lutcher Elementary, Romeville Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, St. James High School and St. James Jr. High.