The Webster Parish School Board accepted bids on tearing down the old gym and the home side of the Minden High School football stadium Monday.
Added to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting, the board voted to accept the bid from Altech Environmental Consulting for mold and asbestos abatement and demolition of the old gymnasium and football stadium. The total cost to demolish both is $212,743.76. This includes $143,372.95 for the asbestos abatement, project management and air monitoring for the demolition of the boys’ gym. Demolition of the home side of the stadium will cost $69,370.81.
Following the complete demolition of the boys’ gym, the area will be backfilled to the level of the lower existing parking area, according to the proposal.
The funding will come from the parish-wide maintenance tax as the March flooding event was parish-wide. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dan Rawls explained that any compensation they may receive from insurance or the Federal Emergency Management Agency will come to the school board and not the individual school district.
“You’re all-inclusive in the policy for the district, but it’s not by each taxing district,” he said.
“They are all together. FEMA and insurance will pay the district, not the Minden school district.”
Following assessments of both the stadium and the gym, engineers condemned the two facilities, saying they were not safe for use until they could be repaired. Engineers told school officials the home side of the stadium shifted nearly three feet due to foundation erosion, and the gymnasium was plagued with mold issues.
Determining costs of constructing a new stadium and gymnasium are underway and will be presented to the board when that information is ready, Rawls said in a previous interview.
In other news, school lunches will increase by 15 cents for the 2016-17 school year to comply with regulations set forth by the state. Sylvia Dupree, child nutrition supervisor says the increase is necessary to meet the guidelines for what they receive in rebates for free and reduced lunches. She says elementary students pay $1.60 for lunch and it would increase to $1.75; high schoolers pay $1.85 and it would go up to $2, she said. Reduced meal prices are 40 cents for lunch and 30 cents for breakfast. Visitors will pay $4.75 per meal.
In 2017-18, school lunches will increase another 14 cents.
The school board also approved:
- $210 to Minden Athletic for the purchase of wall padding for the Doyline High School gym, using Doyline Building funds.
- repairs to Aerco KC Boiler at Minden High School for $6,371, using district 6 half cent sales tax.
- the purchase of a commercial grass trimmer for Brown Upper Elementary School for $303.99, using Springhill Lease Funds.
- Travel allocation increase for Shaun Houston by $500 and Bridget Bridges for $250.
- an amplification system for Doyline High School to replace damaged equipment for $703.40, using Doyline Bond funding,
- end of the school year field trips,
- personnel report and
- superintendent’s report.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m., Monday, May 16, in the board meeting room at Central Office, located at 1442 Sheppard Street. A finance committee meeting has been set for 4 p.m.