School Board updated on flooded schools

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 9, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

RESERVE – The firms assigned to manage the recovery efforts at Lake Pontchartrain Ele-mentary and East St. John High School provided thorough updates for St. John the Baptist Parish School Board members on the statuses of the the projects.
Cindy Janecke of All South Consulting Engineers LLC said her firm had been making “very good progress” and is on target to present the board a proposed scope of work in approximately three weeks.
According to Janecke, the firm recently completed a room-by-room assessment at both schools and has begun checking for required upgrades that the Federal Emergency Management Agency may have missed.
All South has also
completed environmental field testing,
with results due in the next few weeks. These results will indicate whether there is additional damage to the buildings that remains unseen. After a question from board member Russ Wise, Janecke also said that it was likely that Lake Pontchartrain Elementary teachers would be allowed to
go back into the school and retrieve their things after the schools are cleared environmentally. She expects to have more information within the next month.
Janecke also revealed that FEMA may
have overestimated
the distict’s National Flood Insurance Policy deductions by at least $800,000. She added that this was more of a “housekeeping” issue and should not cause controversy with the agency.
Brad Guerin of Chasm and Fusion Architecture said the temporary campus is still on schedule to be complete after students return from the holiday break.
The modular buildings are currently being fabricated and will begin arriving on the site starting Nov. 26, one build per day, excluding holidays. Contractors will place footings for the modular buildings as they arrive and will prioritize which ones need to be put into place first. Guerin said the buildings will be available to move in as they are completed.
Guerin also said the bid date for the temporary site work has been pushed back one week but will not affect the current timeline. A special meeting will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. to approve a bid.
Further discussion of redistricting was tabled pending the next regular meeting, as
an agenda item regarding renewing the
district’s Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan with an 8.32 percent increase ran long. No action was taken on the item, and it will again be discussed at a future meeting.