East Bank Government Complex construction beginning in July

Published 12:03 am Saturday, June 18, 2016

LAPLACE — A contractor has been chosen to construct the new East Bank Government Complex.

St. John the Baptist Parish Council members voted Tuesday to approve the contract to Lamar Contractors of Luling in the amount of $9.4 million.

District 2 Councilwoman Julia Remondet abstained during the vote because she said she has a family member who works for Lamar Contractors.

The new East Bank Complex will be located in front of the current government building at 1801 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace.

The 44,130 square foot building centralizes government offices for public services and is going to serve as a one-stop shop for residents.

The new complex will house the Registrar of Voters, Assessor, Planning and Zoning, Code Enforcement, Clerk of Court, Utility Billing, Finance, Grants and Council Offices. It also includes new Council Chambers, Courtroom, Parish President’s Office and Administrative suite.

St. John Parish Communications Director Baileigh Rebowe Helm said construction is expected to begin July 14.

“All that is weather permitting, hurricane season permitting and river permitting,” Helm said, adding she is excited for the complex because it would be a one-stop shop for residents.

“Residents will be able to pay their water bill, get a permit, visit economic development or the Assessor’s office all in one place. I think that is critical to better the community.”

Once construction begins, it will take approximately 14 months to complete.

“We don’t anticipate any road closures,” Helm said. “We anticipate construction only inconveniencing the workers who work at the parish building. The parking lot might need to be blocked off. Other than that we don’t see any hindrance to the general public. Services within the parish will continue with minimal interruption.”

The project, which was designed by Murray Architects, has been in the works since 2009.

District 4 Councilman Marvin Perrilloux said he is ecstatic about the next complex.

“We are overdue for a new government complex,” he said. “Its time to show the residents of St. John Parish and our government that we can have the same things as every other parish, a state-of-the-art government building with everyone in one building. That way when residents come they don’t have to run all over the parish to find the different offices, they will all be housed in the same building.”

Perrilloux said he is most excited about how modern the new complex will be compared to the existing one.

The complex will house a state-of-the-art Council Chambers that seats more than 100 people and includes enhanced sound, voting and camera systems.

“The building we are in now is old with outdated equipment,” Perrilloux said. “It’s time to bring technology to where we need to have it to help this government function.”

The new East Bank Government complex will be constructed to compliment a $2.4 million renovation to the courthouse on the West Bank.