Work on $2.4M school building starts in May

April 25, 2007 at 10:54 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

St. Charles Parish Schools are just weeks away from breaking ground on $2.4 million maintenance facility to replace the old one that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

“We’ve been working hard with FEMA and waiting for them to tell us it’s a go,” said Larry Sesser, physical plant assistant superintendent for the schools.

“It’s a lot of red tape, but once FEMA clears the project the funds will be released to the state.”

The 12,000-sq. ft. building will be located on Sugarland Parkway near the school system’s administrative offices in Luling.

In the aftermath of Katrina,  maintenance workers have been keeping equipment in their trucks or in rented trailers.
The school board also has been renting the old K-mart building on Hwy 90 for additional storage.

Securing money from FEMA to help pay for the new facility hasn’t been easy. But Sesser expects construction to begin in mid-May.

Once FEMA clears the project, the funds will be disbursed to the state. The school board will have to use money out of a local “reserve fund” to start construction. Once that’s done, the state will release the FEMA funds to the schools.
Sesser said that the recent millage renewal approved by voters was an important component of the project.

“Having a reserve allows us to do this,” he said.
“Reserves allowed us to get a lot work done immediately after the storm. If we had had to wait (on FEMA) we would still have schools closed.”

The project has been sent out for bids. The item is on the agenda for the board meeting May 2.

View other articles written Caleb Frey

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