Lutcher High stadium construction set

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 16, 2011

By David Vitrano


LUTCHER – A contractor has been chosen and construction of the new stadium at Lutcher High School is set to begin as soon as the site is cleared of debris, according to St. James Parish school system architect Perry Segura.

Bids for the project were opened Friday, and J. Reed Construction of Baton Rouge was determined to be the low bidder on the project.

J. Reed’s bid for the five-month project was slightly more than $1.5 million and came in well below the projected $1.65 million budget.

“We had some real good competitive bids,” said St. James School Board Vice President George Nassar.

Of the eight bids received, half fell below the estimated budget, and only one — at more than $2.3 million — was completely out of range.

The School Board called a special meeting Monday so the bid could be voted on and the project could move forward as quickly as possible. The vote to accept the bid was unanimous. This will give the construction company five months to complete the project in time for football season.

Although he acknowledged the construction period was short, Board President Charles Nailor said, “I’m confident it will get done in five months.”

The new aluminum stadium will replace Lutcher High’s old stadium, which was severely damaged by fire in November.

After the completion of the upcoming football season, St. James High School will also be getting a new, almost identical stadium, and Nassar asked Segura for an update on that project.

“Now that we’ve been through Lutcher, we know a lot more,” said Segura, adding, “We are limited with the space that’s there.”

Segura suggested going for bids for the demolition of the stadium in October or November and while demolition is going on, seeking construction bids in December. Adhering to such a schedule would give a contractor seven months to complete the stadium.

“Having one under our belt, we’ll know what to expect,” said Segura.

Board member Richard Reulet noted some problems with the demolition of the Lutcher High School stadium including the destruction of some supports for the press box, which had just been replaced last year.

Segura said, “The contractor who tore it down is responsible for replacing it.”