No bids on Watkins school, board decides to rebid

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2008


News Editor

RESERVE—The St. John Parish School Board has been busy lately trying to pull together all the final threads to ensure a successful opening of the new Emily C. Watkins School in August.

Having received no bids on the plantation home they wish to have removed from the grounds, the board has chosen to readvertise.

The advertisement period will last until May 21. On May 22, the board will begin to accept bids. This time around, there will be no minimum bid.

Ideally, the structure will be removed from the grounds by June 20 so that construction of parking lots and driveways can be completed on time.

Also, upon recommendation from Superintendent Courtney Millet, Emily C. Watkins will open in the fall as a K-5 school instead of a K-8, as was originally planned.

Millet reasoned that she believed such a move would create the best climate for the new school.

As the school will add one new grade each year until it reaches K-8 status, Millet says that the school will be allowed to grow with its students.

Furthermore, according to the superintendent, opening the school as a K-5 will allow those students in upper grades at nearby schools to remain in the institutions in which they have established connections and pride. It will also allow them to remain in any extracurricular activities at their old schools.

Lastly, the board discussed acquiring an industry adoption for Emily C. Watkins. Among industrial entities mentioned were the new sugar refinery under construction in Reserve and Bayou Steel because of its proximity to the school.

In other school board-related matters, when L’Observateur reported on the new grounds maintenance contract, the owner of Cypress Land Contractors was incorrectly identified. His name is Keith LeSaicherre.

LeSaicherre also pointed out that his company will save the parish money in the long run because of a yearly cost escalation clause in Guidry’s bid.