Lafayette School Board reviews construction projects

The Lafayette Parish School Board on Wednesday reviewed a committee’s recommendations for architects to design renovation projects planned for L.J. Alleman and Youngsville middle schools.

The board sold $30 million in bonds to fund the two projects, along with four more, for an expansion at Youngsville Middle and major renovations and the construction of a new cafeteria at L.J. Alleman.

The committee recommended Abell, Crozier, Davis Architects for the L.J. Alleman project and with Beazley, Moliere for the Youngsville Middle project. The board will act on the recommendation June 19.

A total of 11 firms submitted proposals for both projects. The committee ranked Abell, Crozier, Davis Architects and Beazley, Moliere as the top two firms respectively for both projects, prompting board member Rae Trahan to question the selection process.

Facilities Planning Director Kyle Bordelon explained that committee members based their decisions on site visits made to projects the firms completed.

Trahan asked if there was any documentation for the basis of committee members’ opinions.

District Purchasing Agent Sandra Melancon told Trahan that she emailed each committee member.

“They each gave me their opinion of which architect should get which project … all came back with (the) same results,” Melancon said.

Trahan asked more questions.

“No reasonings? No questions asked?” Trahan said. “So, we don’t know the reasonings behind (their decisions)?”

Bordelon told Trahan that he felt Abell, Crozier, Davis was a “better fit” for the L.J. Alleman project “because of the master planning that would be needed to accomplish that project.

Six members served on the committee: Bordelon; Melancon; Superintendent Pat Cooper (as a non-voting member); Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry; Hector LaSala, professor of architecture and design at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; and Brent Frick, architect.

In other action Wednesday, the School Board:

Approved its Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education grant application for $400,000.

Approved a $30,500 bid for surveillance cameras from Aventura Technologies.

Approved a $55,372 bid to Lafayette Music Co. for band instruments.

Selected Tikia Consulting Group to help with its self-funded group insurance plan.

DISCIPLINE POLICY: Also Wednesday, a committee made up of teachers, administrators and Trahan began its annual review of the district’s discipline policy.

Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau said the group will meet at least six times over the next two weeks and plans to present the board its recommendations by June 19.

In the past school year, 5,772 students received in-school suspensions, 1,278 students were suspended and sent to N.P. Moss Preparatory Academy, and another 2,260 received out of school suspensions.