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School Board moves forward with BES expansion

Written by Aaron Williams on . Posted in Local

The West Baton Rouge Parish School Board voted to move forward with the construction of a 21,000-foot addition to Brusly Elementary School.

During the May school board meeting Wednesday evening, the board voted to spend up to $3.5 million in the construction.

Patin Construction Co., Inc. was the winning bid at $3,053,133, but the board decided to budget nearly $500,000 more in case of a last minute withdrawal from the winning bidder as well as any unforeseen expenses that may arise during the project’s completion.

As the lowest legal bidder, the general contractor, Patin Construction Co., will be responsible for the construction of the BES addition as well as the transport of the T-buildings from their current location at BES to other schools in the parish to be used.

The $3.5 million, according to Dean Hotard, of Dean Hotard & Associates architectural firm in Port Allen, will include “architectural fees, any contingencies and also testing of materials.”

Hotard’s business partner, Doug Breaux, explained the contingency, saying that in construction projects, it is commonplace to carry contingency funds.

“It’s common on a job this size to carry about a 10% contingency. Anything that’s not spent, the school repays,” Breaux said. “It’s not uncommon to have little issues here and there.”

The school board originally discussed the price range of $2.7-$2.8 million, but rising costs of concrete and steel caused the construction bids to rise, according to David Corona, Superintendent of WBR Schools.

Construction on the school’s addition project will begin in June and is slated to be completed no later than in June 1, 2014.

Part of the construction includes improvements to the existing BESbuilding.

In other news, the board voted to hire Bits Technical Corporation to place security cameras in the 10 parish schools for a price not to exceed $160,000.

“We think we’ll do the whole project for somewhere around $150,000,” said Jeff Kershaw, school system’s maintenance supervisor.

Kershaw added that Bits Technical Corporation will not be installing panic buttons, and that the board will hire a company to do that at a later date. He did say that he suspects costs for that project will be between $15,000-$20,000.

“If we do stay at $150,000 (for security cameras) for our 10 schools, and another $15,000 or $20,000 on panic buttons, we’re still in the $170,000 range, which is where we thought we’d be all along,” he said.

Kershaw said the school system plans to have the cameras and panic buttons installed by the beginning of next semester.

“If we can get in… get started, (the owner of Bits Technical Corporation) assured me that we will be finished with everything by the beginning of school,” he said.

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