LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board selected LLJ Environmental Construction LLC to manage the demolition of the old Léon Godchaux building at a special meeting held Tuesday evening.
LLJ Environmental Construction, based in Marrero, submitted a low bid of $ 234,500 for the demolition project. Four companies responded during the shortened bidding period, which opened at 10 a.m. on June 25. Other offers came from Alpha-Omega Environmental Inc. ($ 278,632), Gill Industries, LTD ($ 366,367) and Insulation Technologies Inc. ($ 246,900).
More than 110 years after its construction, the deteriorating roof of the Léon Godchaux building in Reserve collapsed amid wind and rain on the night of March 15. handled with care due to the possibility of asbestos in the walls of the old building.
The school board selected All South Consulting Engineers as the engineering firm for the demolition project at a meeting on April 29. Cindy Janecke was present on behalf of All South at the June 29 school board meeting at LaPlace to present LLJ Environmental Construction as the lowest bidder.
Janecke said if all goes well with the signing of the contract in July, demolition work is expected to start around August 1. She added that insurance agent John Faucheux is working to determine whether the school board will have to pay a deductible for the demolition.
Expenses were a topic of discussion at the June 29 meeting as the school board continues to go through a budget crisis. Since the collapse of the Godchaux building was not anticipated, there is no designated funding source for the demolition at this time.
“I will be checking with our consultants we are working with to make sure funding can be secured and withdrawn in the right place,” said Superintendent Dr. Lynett Hookfin. “There will be a source of funding, but I will confirm where it should come from. “
School board member Ali Burl III was reluctant to move forward without a clear answer on the source of funding. He said he couldn’t bear to spend the money on the demolition when the school district has other needs. “I agree that something has to be done with this, but I think we have to prioritize exactly what our needs are,” he said.
Board member Debbie Schum called for the demolition to continue.
“It seems to me that this is what we have to do because it is potentially dangerous, it is going to cause problems as long as it is there, and it is one of those things that we just have to understand,” he said. Schum said. “I think the budget will be presented to us in August. It’s got to be one of the things in there. Hopefully if the insurance is accepted, it will not be a big cost to us at this point. “
The school board voted 7-1 to select LLJ Environmental Construction LLC to handle the demolition, with Burl voting in opposition. Debbie Schum, Patrick Sanders, Nia Mitchell, Sherry DeFrancecsh, Phillip Johnson, Keith Jones and Gerald Keller voted for, while Clarence Cheat, Shawn Wallace and Charo Holden were absent.