Pair of projects ahead of schedule

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009

By David Vitrano


RESERVE—Although ground has yet to be broken, a pair of projects in the St. John Schools Educational and Facilities Plan are proceeding well ahead of schedule.

CSRS, the consulting firm hired by the school board to assist in the implementation of the plan, will begin advertising for bids for the new field house structure at East St. John in the next couple of weeks.

“That’s why all these folks are here,” joked CSRS representative Chris Pellegrin, referring to the large number of East St. John coaches and athletes who attended last week’s meeting because of another item on the agenda.

The bidding process for the project will end on Nov. 5, about one month ahead of schedule, according to Pellegrin.

Bidding for the playgrounds, which will be installed at every elementary school in the parish, is set to end Oct. 15, also about a month ahead of schedule.

Pellegrin said all other projects are moving forward on time and within budget.

Board member Russ Wise asked Pellegrin if the new constructions within the school district would be following the guidelines of “green” construction.

Pellegrin explained the firm is doing everything it can to make the buildings energy-efficient and sustainable as possible.

He said to follow the guidelines to the letter would not be possible given the budget for the projects, but construction will incorporate what Pellegrin termed LEED light. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the rating system used to determine potential tax credits for reduction of carbon footprints.

LEED light involves using natural lighting and tankless water heaters and the like to conserve energy. By taking such measures, he said the school system would get the credit points without having to pay the premium price.

“We try to do all the smart things that don’t cost money,” said Pellegrin.