Board spending up to $3.5 million on Brusly Elementary addition

The West Baton Rouge Parish School Board unanimously decided Wednesday to spend up to $3.5 million to build a 13,000-square-foot addition to Brusly Elementary, a school that has been dealing with overcrowding issues for the past several years.

The board’s decision to finance the project with bond sale revenues was influenced by construction bids ranging from $3 million to $3.5 million.

Dean Hotard, of Dean Hotard & Associates architectural firm, said the school district received six bids on the project with the lowest submitted by Patin Construction Co. for $3 million.

But Hotard told the board during its regular meeting Wednesday night the school district may be forced to entertain the second-lowest bid of $3.1 million from J.F. Juge Construction because the apparent low bidder informed him it may have to pull out of the project.

The deadline is 10 a.m. Thursday for the low bidder to pull out, Hotard said.

The School Board decided to approve a resolution awarding the project to the lowest bidder as of 10 a.m. Thursday.

The proposal will add about 14 classrooms to Brusly Elementary along with additional restrooms and storage space for faculty and staff.

Hotard called the new wing a “modern building” that will feature 21st century technology.

The project originally was estimated to cost about $2.7 million.

School Superintendent David Corona said the project price increased slightly due to rising costs for concrete and steel construction materials.

The project is expected to take approximately 10 months to complete.

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

Other matters coming before the board Wednesday included:

SECURITY CAMERAS: The board approved an appropriation of up to $160,000 to pay for installation of security cameras and panic buttons at all 10 of the district’s school campuses.

The school district is hiring a vendor on state contract.

The district hopes to have the security cameras in place by the start of the new school year this fall.

The board has been working toward better security at all its campuses since the mass shooting Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.