Furnishings for new school go over $400,000 over budget

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – A bid for furnishings at the new Emily C. Watkins Elementary was turned down by the St. John School Board last week after it was found to be over $400,000 over budget.

The furnishings were originally included in the general contracting price from Aegis Construction, but were taken out when the school board decided to seek lower bids on its own.

“When we signed the contract with the general contractor we thought we could do better on our own with the bids,” said School Architect Alton Darby.

In a vote, the board decided to reject the current bid and to ask Aegis to reinstate their original bid.

“This may be a case where we tried to save money but ended up spending more,” said Board Member Russ Wise.

The lowest bid obtained by the School Board to get the furniture on its own came in at $986,006, an increase of more than $436,000 over the Aegis bid.

Business Manager Felix Boughton said, in an upside to the dilemma, that in the time since the original bid the money that would have been spent on furnishings has been accruing interest.

Darby said he would contact Aegis about reinstating their earlier bid, however Aegis is not required to accept the school board’s offer to reinstate the bid.