Virus delays school work
Restoration work at Eunice Elementary has definitely been the project that cannot catch a break.
The latest culprit to delay the completion of work is the coronavirus.
Claudia Blanchard, school system director of operations, at a St. Landry Parish School Board Buildings, Lands and Sites Committee Zoom meeting on Monday, said workers had to stop due to the virus.
“Last month I was very optimistic and positive that our projects were moving along very well. This month is not so positive,” she said.
“Both contractors have been battling COVID-19 and we have seen a setback. There is still work progressing, but it is at a very slow pace,” she said.
About 40% of a roofing project at Eunice Junior High School has been completed, she said.
“Unfortunately, they have not been on the site for the last two and half weeks due to their workers kind of battling this virus. As they get a release they will be returning,” she said.
The original project was to install new roofs on three buildings on the Eunice Elementary campus and one at Eunice Junior High School. That was in August 2018.
On the second day of school in August 2018, a Eunice Elementary classroom building was damaged by fire, which delayed the roofing project as school officials waited for a determination about repairing the building.
Portable classrooms were placed at the campus.
The next delay occurred when the administration building flooded in December 2018.
Another portable building and restroom facility were placed at the campus following the flooding incident.
A design issue was discovered that delayed the roofing project at Eunice Elementary.
Weather has been blamed for much of the delay in work at the elementary campus.
At Monday’s meeting Blanchard said of the elementary school work, “We have made lots of progress, but it did get slowed for the same reason. We are now at a point where we are waiting for the ceiling tile to be installed. It is just really a couple of days when they can get back to work and then we will start on the floors.”
The flooring work will take about 10 days, but is contingent on getting workers, she said.
In January, Blanchard expected the administration building would be ready to be occupied. In March, schools were closed for classes in attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Also at the January meeting, Blanchard said the work at the junior high and elementary school would be completed in time for the start of school in August.
The St. Landry Parish School Board on July 2 decided students will be taught online beginning Aug. 20. Teachers and administrators will return to their buildings for the virtual school.