Modulars secured for temporary LPE campus

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 26, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

RESERVE – St. John the Baptist Parish School Board held a special meeting on Thursday morning to receive further updates on the purchase of modular building for Lake Pontchartrain Elementary’s temporary campus and have more discussion about the current redistricting debacle.
Representatives from Chasm and Fusion Architecture reported that they had received three bids for the purchase of modular buildings on Monday afternoon. The firm announced the selection of Satellite Shelters Inc., the company with the lowest responsible bid, for the contract. Board members accepted the company’s base bid of $1,153,711, according the architecture firm’s recommendation. The modular buildings will include a one-year warranty.
In other action, with no response from the attorney general, the School Board still finds itself at an impasse regarding the recent redistricting troubles. School Board attorney Orenthal Jasmin recommended that the board take whatever steps necessary to correct the issue and went on to suggest that the lack of response dictates that the state’s position on the matter has not changed. The plan, as drawn by redistricting associate Cedric Floyd, cannot be implemented.
Floyd asserted, as he had previously, that there was nothing further for board members to do in the matter besides wait for St. John Parish officials to reconcile the precincts, and also alleged that state approval was not necessary, since the plan already gained clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice. Floyd also said that the board only needs to wait until Jan. 1, when a window for precinct mergers would open.
“The board may be speeding when it’s really walking that may be done. This is what happens after every redistricting throughout the state, that you merge precincts. It has nothing to do with your redistricting plan,” said Floyd.
Board members continued to speculate and kick around solutions to the problem. Amid the back and forth, some members of the board implied that Floyd’s uniquely shaped districts may have been a veiled attempt to shift competitors for the 2014 school board election away from particular board members who did not want the competition.
The board finally agreed to create a resolution to wait until January to receive a response from the attorney general before asking Floyd to redraw the district lines.