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Restroom and locker upgrades scheduled as OPSB drags feet on larger overhaul

Three of the first-floor restrooms at Audubon’s Carrollton Avenue campus will be renovated this summer and students will get new lockers, board members learned at their monthly meeting, May 26. The upgrades are long overdue, school officials said.

The French and Montessori Education board approved the $62,700 contract with Crescent Commercial Construction for the restrooms and a $26,191 contract with Atlas-Edco to replace the lockers.

Facilities consultant Ken Ducote presented seven proposals from local contractors. Crescent’s was the lowest bid, but in recommending approval of the contract Ducote assured the board the work would be of high quality.

The project, including new hand dryers, sinks, fans, mirrors, heaters, urinals, doors, stall partitions, ceilings, paint and re-tiled floors, is expected to be complete by August 3. Teachers return to school August 8, students August 14.
“I’m just so happy this is being done. I’m so excited,” operations manager Alisa Dupre said. “It definitely needs to be done before the kids come back but I would like it to be done even before the teachers return.”

Earlier this year the Orleans Parish School Board approved an overhaul of the Carrollton Avenue Campus. But Audubon board chairman the Rev. Cornelius Tilton said the work is taking too long; the restroom renovations and new lockers are an effort to improve the school before the larger project starts.

“We promised the parents we wouldn’t send their children into substandard conditions. We promised we would do something if the school board didn’t,” Tilton said. “They’re taking too long. So, until then, we’re moving forward. The board is taking the bull by the horns.”

Broadway campus renovations are set to begin soon. The school board has given the project the green light. Change orders have driven the price to $14 million from around $11 million. Starting May 23, contractors have 487 days to complete the work, pushing the deadline for reopening the building to the start of the
2013-2014 school year.

The contractor will pay a $5,000-a-day penalty for each day beyond the deadline if the work is not completed.

The public can discuss plans with the contractors at a meet-and-greet scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church.

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