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In the News

Bids for Hackberry school projects too high

By Cyndi Sellers

Looming traffic issues associated with the Interstate 2-10 bridge repairs in Lake Charles are affecting school construction projects in western Cameron Parish. Low bids on two Hackberry High School projects were rejected by the Cameron Parish School Board Monday as being over budget. The causes: anticipated traffic delays of up to two hours each way for workers and increases in the price of steel.

The four-classroom pod project estimated at $1,170,000 came in at almost twice that amount. Both bids were slightly over $2 million0. The long awaited ADA upgrade project was also over budget. The sole bid was $1,653,400, on a budget of $1 million. Both projects will be redesigned and rebid.

One bid was accepted, however. Acadian Security was the low bidder, at $133,750, for security system upgrades for South Cameron, Hackberry and Johnson Bayou High Schools.

Four School Board properties were offered for surface lease, but only two received bids, and the other two received bids much lower than in past years. School Board members asked property manager Lee Bloch to advertise more extensively next time. Bloch said the fact that a large group of properties was up for bid last month and some properties having degraded habitat probably affected the bidding.

The sale of the Educational Conference Center to the Cameron Parish Library is moving forward. An abstract and survey has been ordered, with both parties to split the cost. The Library Board is reportedly not interested in the vacant space between the Conference Center and the Central Office, so the fence will likely be moved.

Proposals for a 13th pay check for school personnel will be made at next month’s meeting, when the result of the Cheniere memorandum of understanding may be known.

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