Revisions delay Eastbank Government Complex’s launch

Published 12:11 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016

LAPLACE — Expanded offices for St. John the Baptist Parish Council members and a larger reception area have caused redesigns to an announced multi-million dollar Eastbank Government Complex, pushing the bid process back to early April at the earliest.

The architect had to make a few adjustments to the original design, St. John the Baptist Parish Communications Director Baileigh Rebowe Helm said.

“Though we received authorization to go out for bids, we haven’t yet,” Helm said. “The revision for the new plan shouldn’t take more than 30 days. We’re thinking by April 3 we’ll be able to advertise and go out for bids.”

Helm said Parish Council members made a few changes to their offices, and parish administrators realized the space needed to be expanded for the reception area.

“We are still working through those types of changes and we’re still working through the design,” she said.

A set date to open bids will not be finalized for a couple of weeks. When bids open, they will be announced publicly and must be open for at least 25 days.

The lowest bidder must get final approval by the Parish Council following the bid process’ close and the Administration makes a recommendation.

The Parish Council authorized the Administration to solicit bids for construction of the Eastbank Government Complex Feb. 9. The new complex will be located in front of the current government building at 1801 W. Airline Hwy in LaPlace and house the registrar of voters, planning and zoning, code enforcement, clerk of court, utility billing and water bills and finance departments.

Parish leaders tout the new complex will hold a state-of-the-art Council chamber that can seat more than 100 people with enhanced sound, camera and voting systems.

Laverne Saulny, Parish chief administrative officer, said the complex consolidates all of the parish’s government offices under one roof.

“We are going to have this beautiful state-of-the art building,” she said last month. “We are going to be extremely accessible to our citizens, and it’s really going to have a major impact in the parish.”