Hurst, J.B. Martin wings make room for 6th graders
The two new buildings will make room at the schools for their first 6th grade classes.
Hurst and J. B. Martin currently hold only 7th and 8th grade students. After the expansion, all parish middle schools will host 6th through 8th grades.
Construction on the Hurst wing will begin around Oct. 1 and the J. B. Martin wing will begin around Oct. 15, said John Rome, administrator of physical plant services.
The two wings are scheduled for completion in January 2012 and will be used for classes starting in the 2012-2013 school year.
Rome said that the overlap of about seven months between the completion date and the use date is to accommodate for any unexpected delays in construction.
The new buildings will mark the first time since 2002 that the district has built new wings. New wings were built at Norco K-3 and Luling elementary schools in 2002.
The wings will house special features, such as a computer lab and science lab at both schools and an art lab at J. B. Martin.
Other features include polished concrete floors that will require less maintenance, automatic shut-off lights and stairwells that are lit by solid glass windows to save on utility costs. All classrooms in the building will also be wired to accommodate a projector or Promethean Board.
The costs for the two wings are about $4.9 million at Hurst and $6.4 million at J. B. Martin. The new wings will include 24 classrooms at Hurst and 32 classrooms at J. B. Martin.
During the bidding process, 12 companies placed a bid for the Hurst project and 11 bid for the J. B. Martin project.
Rome said those are the most bids for a single project that the school district has received since Katrina.
“Right after Katrina, we were getting two, three or four bids per project, but the highest I can remember that we’ve received since then was in the eight range,” Rome said. “To actually have 12 people submit a bid is the highest we’ve had since Katrina.”
Rome said that both Hurst and J. B. Martin will also get gym renovations soon, with the district hoping to accept bids on the projects in November and start construction in January 2011.
At the Hurst gym, renovations will include additional bathrooms and lockers, modernized bleachers, acoustical treatments, upgraded lighting, an additional classroom and painting.
At J. B. Martin, gym renovations are expected to include a “jazzed-up” concession stand and entrance and upgraded lighting, among other improvements.
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