This is the pavilion in the middle of Erath High School and Erath Middle School. It was built more than 10 years ago after Hurricane Rita. The cost to build it was $200,000 from private donations. The students do not use it to eat under.
Vermilion Parish School Board declares ‘Emergency Declaration’
State law says one of three things need to happen for a government body to declare an emergency declaration. The emergency has to be a “disaster,” “emergency” or “public health emergency.”
Where does building an open pavilion at North Vermilion Middle School fall under an “emergency,” “public health emergency” or a “disaster?” Somehow, the school board thinks it does.
The school board voted 8-0 to declare an emergency declaration during a committee meeting on Monday. New school board attorney Kathy Boudreaux advised against the emergency declaration.
The Meridional called the State Ethics Board and spoke to someone from the board, who did not want to give their name. The person on the ethics board said in their opinion the school board was legal by declaring a state emergency for the project.
By declaring the state of emergency, the school board gets to avoid not advertising for bid prices when it comes to building the pavilion, which will be used for the middle school students to eat “express lunches” at noon time.
By not advertising for the construction of the pavilion, it will save about four weeks on completing the project, estimates architect Gene Sellers Jr.
Sellers Jr. could not lock down an exact price for the building, but he did guesstimate closer to $200,000. Sellers said he will get three contractors to submit quotes for the project and then go with the lowest quote.
Boudreaux advised the board to go out for bids for the project because of the guesstimated cost of the project.
“I have some concerns if the pavilion falls under the emergency declaration act,” said Boudreaux. The emergency declaration calls for a dining hall. I realize we are talking about a place to eat. The pavilion is different. The projected cost could be $150,000 to $250,000. I think we are required to send that out for public bid, and I do not think that falls under an emergency declaration.”
School Board member Chris Gautreaux is the board member who recommended the board to vote for a state of emergency declaration. After hearing Boudreaux’s recommendation, he responded.
Gautreaux said, “I have done my homework on this. I know where I am going with this. Dining hall or dining pavilion, it is one in the same. I am not going to hash it out for the next two weeks.”