LPE demolition on pace to begin in April

Published 3:08 pm Friday, March 6, 2015

RESERVE — The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board unanimously decided Wednesday night to table awarding a Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School demolition contract until later in the month.

In a special meeting called to decide on the matter, Superintendent Kevin George asked the Board to vote to table the decision until the Board’s March 19 meeting. He said the district was working with the lowest bidder on paperwork related to the district’s Disadvantage Business Enterprise Policy.

Unanimously passed at the Board’s Sept. 4 meeting, the goal of the policy — the brainchild of District 10 School Board Member Rodney Nicholas — is “to provide maximum opportunities for participation in its construction contracts and procurements for goods and services for businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and for businesses employing such persons.”

In January All South Consulting Engineers’ Cindy Janecke, the project manager for LPE’s build, said demolition of the school would be completed within 110 days of the to-be-chosen contractor mobilizing on the site, adding the demolition contract should be awarded in March with demolition starting in April.

On Thursday George said he was confident everything would be in order to award the demolition contract March 19 to the lowest qualified bidder, ARC Abatement 1 with a $615,278 bid.

“It’s just a matter of ARC understanding and completing paperwork,” George said. “We don’t anticipate any issues or problems with that.”

LPE has been vacant since flooding in 2012’s Hurricane Isaac. The approximately 600 kindergarten through eighth grade students and staff members who comprise LPE are now located at a temporary site, situated at the rear of East St. John Elementary. The campus consists of 15 modular buildings containing more than 30 classrooms, offices and restrooms.

LPE’s new 95,927 square foot school building, which will be located on the same footprint at 3328 Highway 51 in LaPlace, is set to open at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.