WBR board expects to agree to plans for new school wing

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Plans are under way to build a 14-classroom addition to Brusly Elementary School to overcome present overcrowded conditions at the school. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Plans are under way to build a 14-classroom addition to Brusly Elementary School to overcome present overcrowded conditions at the school.

Final plans for building a 13,000-square-foot addition to overcrowded Brusly Elementary School will be presented to the West Baton Rouge Parish School Board this month, School Superintendent David Corona said Thursday.

Corona said the architectural designs will be submitted to the board during its Jan. 16 meeting along with a request to begin advertising for construction bids.

The School Board decided in September to hire architectural firms Dean Hotard & Associates, of Port Allen, and Robertson Loia Roof Architects & Engineers, of Atlanta, to jointly produce the preliminary size and cost plans for adding a new wing to the school.

About 700 students attend classes at Brusly Elementary, which was built in 1993.

The proposed wing would add about 14 classrooms along with additional restrooms and storage space for faculty and staff, Corona said.

“All the plans’ finalization has been done through communication between the architect, principal of the school and the teachers,” Corona said. “The teachers and staff have given ... input to provide those little personal touches they need.”

The school district may spend between $2.6 million and $3 million on the project, but Corona added more “hard and fast” numbers would be known once bid proposals are submitted.

School Board President Jason Manola said the board will wait until after it reviews the bids to decide how it will pay for constructing and furnishing the new wing.

“Depending on the cost, we may want to finance a portion of it through a low-interest loan or pay for it with our general fund dollars,” Manola said.

Corona said construction on the new addition could begin no later than June 1.

“The main thing we’re looking at is occupying it no later than June 1, 2014,” he said. “It should not take any longer than one year to get this thing built.”