School Board moves forward with Hurricane Ida repairs

Published 12:10 pm Thursday, March 31, 2022

RESERVE — The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board took steps toward repairing Hurricane Ida damage at various school sites during a special meeting held last week at the Godchaux Grammar Cafeteria.

Cindy Janecke of All South Consulting Engineers said getting students back into the East St. John main building is top priority. On March 23, freshmen and alternative assessment students were welcomed back to the 300 and 400 buildings. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are continuing to attend school at the smaller Leon Godchaux Junior High campus in Reserve.

While all students are not expected to be at the main campus until the start of the next school year in 2022, Janecke said repairs are expected to be complete within 60 days, and the site can conceivably be used for summer school.

The St. John School Board voted to award a contract for East St. John High School interior repairs at a cost of $513,000. The project consists of installation of ceiling tiles, batt insulation, metal studs and gypsum board walls, cabinets and miscellaneous painting at the school site.

St. John Parish Schools is currently advertising for outdoor repairs at East St. John High School. The School Board had to reject RFP proposals for East St. John dugouts, field house and baseball fields and re-advertise as a bid due to the cost being over the threshold of $100,000. Bids are due on April 28 and will consist of repairs to the dugouts, concession stand and weight room.

Temporary repairs have been made to the Wildcats field so it can be used for the ongoing baseball season.

A separate bid is currently being advertised for the Joe Keller Stadium Hurricane Ida related score board replacement at 400 Ory Drive in LaPlace. This bid will close on April 14, and all work must be substantially complete by August 5, 2022.

The School Board is also making progress on scoreboard and stadium repairs at West St. John High School.

During the special meeting, a contract for West St. John stadium lighting replacement was awarded to the lowest bidder at a cost of $195,250. The bid included an alternate cost of $3,870 for modifications to the breaker system. Currently, coaches turn the breakers on and off to operate the lights. A new system will be installed allowing coaches to turn on the lights remotely.

While overall stadium repairs are being handled by Myer Engineers, the score boards are being handled in a separate bid due to the longer wait time. According to Janecke, it will take approximately eight to 10 weeks for the new scoreboard to be manufactured.

Janecke said the athletic facility repairs at both school sites will be built to stronger standards for greater resiliency against future storms.

The RFP for West St. John High fence repairs had to be rejected and reissued as a bid due to it being over the threshold of $100,000. The bid will close on April 28.

West St. John Elementary School has been another focus area for interior repairs. The St. John School Board voted to awarded a contract for interior repairs, including flooring, to the low bidder at a cost of $269,000.