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New look St. John Courthouse ready

EDGARD — Summer visitors to the St. John the Baptist Parish Courthouse in Edgard will be some of the first to see the building complete after extensive renovations.

The St. John Parish Council authorized a certificate of substantial completion for the Edgard Courthouse Renovation/Addition Project Tuesday night. Foret Contracting Group LLC of Thibodaux completed major renovations to the interior and exterior of the Courthouse, along with construction of a new Juvenile Services wing.

The courthouse now features a secured courtyard near the Juvenile Services Office and a secure entrance for inmates attending court proceedings.

“The courthouse renovations were long overdue, but were completed with input from all stakeholders,” Parish President Natalie Robottom said.

“The layout was altered to meet the needs of employees, as well as residents conducting business or attending court. Security and compliance were also improved to provide a safer environment for all who work and visit the courthouse.”

The construction cost of the renovations was $2,254,691.83, which was funded through the 2009 Bond Issue, the Juvenile Detention Fund and Capital Outlay.

St. John the Baptist Parish Capital Project Administrator Daron Cooper said employees and departments have already started to move into their designated areas, and by the beginning of June every department should be situated in their new offices.

Parish officials said a public event would be planned some time this summer for residents to visit the Courthouse and see the renovations, which began in 2013.

“What I see is progress,” Councilman At Large for Division A Lucien Gauff said, adding the age of the building warranted the work. “It’s a long-time coming. It was time for a face lift.”

Gauff said the Courthouse is just one of the buildings on the West Bank getting spruced up, as at Tuesday night’s meeting the Council approved a contract with Veterans Construction, LLC of Metairie for renovations to the West Bank Senior Citizen Center. Designed by Yeates and Yeates Architects LLC, renovations of the existing center will cost an estimated $103,000 and be funded by utilizing a Local Government Assistance Program grant.

Once completed, the center will include a new roof and flooring, upgraded ADA compliant bathrooms, a larger activity room and improvements to the kitchen cabinets and light fixtures.