The St. Charles Parish School Board has indicated they will accept bids adding up to just over $11.3 million for four capital improvement projects throughout the school system.
The largest project discussed at the School Board committee meeting earlier this week was the construction of a new arts wing at Destrehan High School.
The DHS arts wing, as described by the School Board last year, will include a band room, choir room, three computer labs, three art classrooms and 23 additional classrooms in a nearly 49,000-square-foot building.
Aegis Builders, of LaPlace, placed the lowest bid for the contract at nearly $7.9 million to beat out eight other competitors. The next lowest bid on the project was $158,000 over the winning contract. The highest bid was over $1.5 million more than the one put forward by Aegis.
This was the second time the DHS construction project went to bid. The first bids that came in November were over budget with the lowest coming in at $10,336,000.
The board found the most recent bids to be more acceptable.
"Itís just right a smidge under budget. We went out the first time and were over budget and we tried to work with the apparent low bidder and that didnít work out," John Rome, executive director of physical plant services, said.
Construction on the addition is anticipated to take 400 days.
In addition to the DHS wing construction project, the board indicated that they would also accept bids for renovations at Norco Elementary and R.J. Vial Elementary and an HVAC upgrade at Carver Early Learning Center.
"This group of bids were very tight together," Board Vice-President John "Jay" Robicheaux said.
Superintendent Dr. Rodney Lafon said he was pleased with all bids received on the projects.
"It was very, very tight and you are going to find that in all four of these items," Lafon said.
The Norco Elementary renovation project low bidder was by Kenner-based Dynamic Constructions, who bid $721,825.
The R.J. Vial Elementary renovation project was won by local firm Pintail Contracting Services, based in Des Allemands, whose bid was $1,163,000.
Rome said Pintail has previously worked on smaller projects for the school system.
"This is one of the larger jobs they have bid with us on," Rome said. "He is a local contractor who has done work with us before on smaller projects."
Both renovations are slated to take just over 60 days to be complete over the summer vacation.
The HVAC upgrade contract at Carver Early Learning Center went to Metairie-based Gootee Construction for $1,555,000, which was $13,000 under than the second lowest bid.