Elton School Renovation Project Over Budget – American Press


The Jeff Davis Parish School Board has turned down a second round of building bids for renovations at Elton Elementary School after bids went over budget for the project.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.8 million.

Three bids received on March 15 for the project ranged from $5.1 million to $5.2 million.

“As all bids are being received in excess of budget and projected costs, we are requesting the committee’s motion to reject all bids received and to meet again at a later date to determine when to re-bid the project,” said Jody Singletary, member of the Finance Committee, during Thursday’s school board meeting.

The school board rejected similar bids for the project last May after the project went over budget. The project was scaled back and re-bid, but proposals are still over budget, according to Singletary.

As with many projects, pandemic-related supply chain issues, labor shortages and inflation have pushed up labor and material prices for construction projects, officials said.

Among the changes, a large cement car park was redone with limestone quarry plans to keep the project on budget. A storage building was also removed from the original plans and changes were made to the cafeteria designs.

Original plans for the project called for the construction of a new classroom wing for students in grades before kindergarten through second. The wing would replace an older part of the school known as the Katie B. Thomas wing.

The project also plans to modernize and improve the school’s cafeteria, library, administrative offices, bus shelter area and parking lot.

Voters in School District 22, which includes Elton and a portion of Allen Parish, approved a 20-year, $4 million bond in November 2019 to fund improvements to Elton’s elementary and high schools.

Some of the money has already been used to demolish Elton High School’s old auditorium, which was damaged by a storm in 2005. It has not been used for years due to deteriorating conditions.

Bonds to finance the project were sold last year to Robert W. Baird and Company, an American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company. The company was the lowest of two electronically submitted bids with an interest rate of 3.1 percent.


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