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Story Archives: Interest in building new schools runs high
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|Interest in building new schools runs high|
More than a dozen general contractors from across the country are interested in building the new Sterlington elementary school.
During Tuesday's Ouachita Parish School Board meeting, safety and construction coordinator Ken Slusher told the school board that 14 contractors have indicated they would bid on the project.
"We have them as far away as Kansas, Texas, Arkansas," Slusher said. "We've never had this many, and I've had four or five tell me, 'We're going to get this project and we're going to build this school.'"
"This is a good piece of news," Slusher continued. "We talked to one who said he had 160 people working for him at one time and now he has less than 80 … they just don't have any business. So, hopefully it (bids) will come in real good for us."
It is expected the new Sterlington elementary school will open in 2010. The school board budgeted some $12 million to build the school.
Bids for the new Richwood middle school should go out by the first week of May, Slusher said. The construction budget for the new middle school at Richwood is $12 million, too.
However, the school system will not know the total cost on both projects until it receives bids on the projects.
Both construction projects are being funded by a property tax extension approved by eastern Ouachita voters last year.
That property tax extension provided the school system with roughly $30 million for construction of the two new schools plus renovations at existing schools in eastern Ouachita.
However, because estimates to build both new schools came in about $3 million over budget for each school, the parish school system asked voters to extend its property tax a second time, to add one more year to the life of the tax. The second tax extension was approved by voters in July. It will generate approximately $9.2 million.