$125K+ Chamber upgrade begins in St. John

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

LAPLACE — The St. John the Baptist Parish Council Chamber is getting, what officials are saying, is a needed renovation.

New countertops for the Council desk are planned.

New countertops for the Council desk are planned.

Capital Projects Administrator Daron Cooper said renovations begin this week and will take four months. The project was designed by Murray Architects, Inc of Destrehan.

“There will be new carpeting,” Cooper said. “We’re going to do a new lighting grid and upgraded audio system with ceiling-mounted speakers. We are going to renovate the Council desk, itself, with new countertops. We’re also going to sheetrock the walls and paint.”

The Council Chamber, which is located in the Percy Herbert building in LaPlace, is where the Parish Council holds their twice-a-month meetings addressing concerns of the parish.

Cooper said the Council Chamber is outdated and needs modernization, the decor and sound equipment are out of date.

The renovation is being funded through the 2009 bond issue and will cost $127,000, Cooper said.

Since their chamber will be temporally closed for renovations, Council Chair and District 4 Representative Marvin Perrilloux said meetings would be held at the Edgard Courthouse until completion of the project.

“We are looking at the judges’ schedules,” he said.

“If there is a conflict with court, then we will look at some other venues, like maybe the School Board office or the Arcuri Center.”

Perrilloux said he and the rest of the council are excited about the renovations.

“What we have now is terrible,” he said. “The last time I think it was renovated was before my time. The project is much overdue.”

With an updated chamber residents will be able to better hear and see what goes on during meetings.

Even though a new East Bank government complex is planned for construction and include new Council chambers, Perrilloux said he doesn’t feel the renovations are a waste of time.

“When the Council moves out the chamber, it will still be used as a multi-use conference center,” he said.

“It will be used by the sheriff, the assessor, director meetings, recreation meetings and public meetings. The room will still be used.”

Perrilloux said he encourages residents to stop by and see the renovations.

“Come by and see what’s going on,” he said. “If you have any input, let us know.”