Zachary High building has 20 classrooms

ZACHARY — Some Zachary High School students are expected to move into a new two-story building on the campus later this month.

Foundation Hall is a 55,000- square-foot building bordering Ada Street on the northeast corner of the campus. The final cost has been estimated at $6.7 million, according to reports given Zachary Community School Board members on Tuesday.

Guy Hopkins Construction Co. submitted the original low bid of nearly $6.4 million for the project, but a series of change orders increased the cost. Bani Carville and Brown Architects Inc. designed the building.

The main purpose of the building will be to house the school’s Ninth-Grade Academy, which has been in several locations and temporary buildings on the campus awaiting a permanent home.

The building has 20 new classrooms, two special education classrooms, four science labs with classroom space, three computer labs and an administrative area for the staff.

Scott Devillier, operations director for the school system, said the project is behind schedule, but the contractor is working on “punch list” items.

“If everything goes according to plan, the first day of classes should be Oct. 17,” Devillier said.

Foundation Hall was built with money remaining from three earlier construction bond issues totaling $89 million.

Devillier was the high school principal when the design work began and has monitored its progress as operations director.

“I take a lot of pride in that building. When it is finished, and people get to see it, it’s going to be the best building, structurally and in its looks, in the Zachary school system,” Devillier said.

“We say we build buildings to last 50 years; this one is a 75-year building,” he said.

Zachary voters also approved another bond issue, for $40 million, in November, and board members on Tuesday discussed a revised plan for construction with the new money.

The most expensive project is a new school for first- and second-graders now under construction on School Board property between Rollins Road and Rollins Place. The board opened an Early Learning Center for pre-kindergarten students on the site last year.

The current cost estimate for the school, which will take the first grade from Northwestern Elementary and the second grade from Zachary Elementary, is now $18.34 million, up from the $18 million budgeted earlier this year.

The board also plans to build 30 new classrooms at Zachary Elementary, which has numerous temporary classrooms, and do extensive renovations at the school.

Renovations are planned for restrooms, three classroom buildings and the cafeteria/auditorium, while a new administrative area, a new kitchen and kitchen equipment and additional parking are proposed.

The total estimated cost for the school will be about $11 million.

Other projects in the $40 million bond issue include:

NORTHWESTERN ELEMENTARY: A covered play area, additional parking, new and renovated rest rooms, fencing and remodeling the former pre-kindergarten building for use by pupil appraisal personnel; estimated cost of $1.4 million.

The contract was completed in August, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Thursday.

COPPER MILL ELEMENTARY: Two science labs, a gymnasium seating 400 people, storage areas and lab and gym equipment; $2.8 million.

NORTHWESTERN MIDDLE: Old gymnasium renovations and air conditioning; $233,000. The job is complete.

ZACHARY HIGH: Band room and kitchen renovations, softball locker room and reconstruction of Ada Street, $2.48 million. The price includes demolishing three older buildings on campus, which has been completed.

PORT HUDSON CAREER ACADEMY: Additional parking and a new classroom and workshop building, $2.15 million.