Termites found eating away Napoleonville middle school gym

Wooden portions of the Napoleonville Middle School gymnasium structure are infested with termites and must be removed, Assumption Parish School Board members were told Wednesday.

Lloyd Hidalgo, the school system’s facilities and grounds supervisor, delivered the bad news during an update on the building’s condition, which included an inspection report from LSU entomology professor Dennis Ring.

Hidalgo said Ring found Formosan termites have infested the structure’s wooden portions.

He recommended removing all wood from the gym and replacing it with pressure-treated wood or, preferably, metal.

“He [Ring] said that if nothing is done to manage the termites, it’s only a matter of time before the structure will collapse,” Hidalgo told the board.

In a letter to the board, Ring wrote that damage to the wood indicates termites “have been in the structure for some time and are widespread though the structure.”

Hidalgo said the gym is the only structure on the campus with a documented termite infestation, but that he also was inspecting the school’s main office building.

“We looked at all the other buildings and they seem to be fine,” he said, adding all buildings on the campus will be treated with a “potent chemical” to deter termites.

School Superintendent Earl “Tibby” Martinez said while the brick walls, floor and metal roof of the building are still in good condition, constructing a new metal building also is an option.

Martinez said that he would bring estimates on both options to the board’s Feb. 5 meeting.