"We Will" is the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools motto for the 2018-19 school year. The goal is to show the school community what students, teachers and administrators 'will do' to make local schools the best they can be. 

The St. Tammany Parish School Board is poised to accept nearly $28 million in construction bids when it meets in full Thursday at the Brooks Curriculum Center in Slidell.

The school board voted at its Business Affairs & Administration Committee meeting held Feb. 7 to fund significant additions to Madisonville Elementary School and Mandeville High School.

The final vote on the matter will take place Thursday.

If passed, a total of $14.598 million will fund construction at Mandeville. Projects on tap include the addition of a three-story building that will include more than two dozen classrooms, labs, office space and more. The new building will allow for the elimination of 28 modular buildings on site.

A new HVAC system is part of the bid, as are additions to the school's locker rooms.

Thompson Construction Co. submitted the lowest bid and would handle the work.

Another $13.35 million in construction is scheduled at Madisonville Elementary. Voelkel McWilliams Construction, LLC was the low bidder for the work, which would provide new classrooms and eliminate 30 modulars. Other work scheduled there includes the addition of a new gymnasium and a major expansion of the cafeteria. 

Both schools have seen tremendous growth in student population in recent years, which has placed significant stress on both campuses. 

An additional $167,000 is proposed for work at Covington High, with the majority of that money funding handicapped accessibility projects on campus. CDX Construction, LLC submitted the low bid and was given preliminary approval in committee.

Also at the Feb. 7 committee meeting, the board readied itself to sign contracts with several publishing companies that would supply science texts throughout the parish system.

The six-year contracts would total $3.4 million over that time and include both online and hard copy materials.

Companies that received recommendations at the committee meeting include McGraw-Hill, which would supply science materials in the kindergarten through fifth-grade level, in the sixth grade through eighth grade category; and to high school students taking physical science, anatomy and physiology.

Other publishers recommended to supply high school texts include Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt (environmental science and chemistry I;) Pearson (environmental science AP, biology I, II and AP, chemistry AP, physics, physics AP and forensic science;) and Goodheart Wilcox (health sciences I and II.)

This story was altered on Feb. 12, 2019 to reflect that St. Tammany Parish School Board votes at committee meetings on Feb. 7 were not binding. The final vote on each matter will be held Feb. 14.