Harry Hurst wing delay won’t affect opening date

Michelle Stuckey
July 15, 2011 at 9:25 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Harry Hurst wing delay won’t affect opening date
Michelle Stuckey
Construction on a new wing at Harry Hurst Middle School in Destrehan has been delayed about 100 days while contractors wait for the delivery of steel for the structure.

But the building is still expected to be completed in time for use at the start of the 2012-2013 school year, said John Rome, director of physical plant services for the school district.

“The steel subcontractor has not finished fabricating the steel. Once the fabrication is complete, the steel can be delivered to the site to commence steel erection,” Rome said. “The construction schedule information provided by the general contractor still indicates a completion date in the latter part of spring 2012.”

The original contract had the building scheduled for completion in January 2012, but Rome said possible delays were taken into consideration.

“The construction process was started 1.5 to 2 years ahead of the targeted building occupancy date to account for potential delays,” he said.

Construction on the new wing began in April of this year - the same month that construction on a similar wing at J.B. Martin Middle School in Paradis began. The construction at J.B. Martin is on schedule because the building is not as reliant on steel, Rome said during a School Board committee meeting last week. He said that steel buildings usually take less time to erect if steel is delivered on time.

At Hurst, the construction of the new wing will cost the district about $4.9 million and will include 24 new classrooms. At J.B. Martin, construction costs are at about $6.4 million and there will be 32 new classrooms.

The new wings will allow the two middle schools to expand to include 6th grade, Rome said.

Each school will have about 300 more students when the projects are complete, for a total of about 750 students at Hurst and 850 at J.B. Martin. Hurst will absorb 6th grade students from Ethel Schoeffner Elementary and Norco 4-6 while 6th graders from Lakewood Elementary and R.J. Vial Elementary will attend J.B. Martin next year.

The two-story wings are the first that the school district has built in almost 10 years and will house special features such as computer, science and art labs when complete. Other features will include polished concrete floors that will require less maintenance, automatic shut-off lights and stairwells that will be lit by solid glass windows to save on utility costs.

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