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In August of 2016, Westside Elementary School sustained extensive damage from the widespread flood event experienced throughout Acadiana. Members of the community have questioned why the school system chose to repair Westside rather than replace it with a new facility. After considering both options, the school system administration, along with consulting architects and engineers, determined we could transform the existing facility into a brand new school for less cost and in a shorter time than opting for an entirely new structure.
The first consideration is that the frame, roof, and foundation are all sound and were unaffected by the flood. The second consideration is that the school system wanted to provide a sound learning facility while at the same time maximizing our insurance and FEMA reimbursements. The bid for the repairs is $5,229,000. Most of this amount will be covered by insurance and FEMA reimbursements, saving the tax payers of this parish millions of dollars. At the conclusion of the repairs Westside will look like a brand new school.
The repairs will also include upgrades to current codes and standards and include improvements that will mitigate future flooding damage. These costs will be reimbursable in large part by the insurance company and FEMA.
At the current time the site is undergoing asbestos and lead abatement. Reconstruction will commence within the next few weeks. In the meantime, a temporary school is being located on the campus of Scott Middle School. The buildings for the temporary school have been delivered, and we expect the school to be ready for occupancy in August of 2017. We elected to provide a temporary school in Scott for the convenience of parents and school staff. This will bring our Westside Elementary school community back together until repairs to the permanent facility are complete. Our goal is to get students and staff back into the permanent facility as soon as possible, potentially as early as spring, 2018.
Westside Elementary will be a safer school, with a more pleasant learning environment after reconstruction is complete. We are confident the Scott community will be pleased with the results.
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