By Cyndi Sellers
The Cameron Parish School Board is considering whether to declare the Administration Building in Cameron as surplus property and sell it to Venture Global LNG. An Executive Session was held at Monday night’s School Board meeting to discuss the potential value of the property. Any other discussion will be held in open session said Assistant District Attorney Mike Cassidy.
The executive session agenda item called for “discussion of any surplus properties for potential sale,” but notes sent to Board members by Supt. Charley Lemons said he had “officially been approached by representatives from VNG (Venture Global LNG) about their interest in possibly buying our office.”
The Administration Building was built after Hurricane Rita as a FEMA project at a cost of $5.5 million. It is in the process of being repaired after Hurricane Laura. As a FEMA project, the only way it can be sold is if it is declared surplus, as was the case with the Conference Center when it was sold to the Library.
In other discussions, the Board considered whether to hire the same reapportionment specialist they used after the 2010 Census for the 2020 reapportionment effort. They learned that the Police Jury is planning to interview that person and another candidate. The Board decided to appoint a team of three members to sit in on that interview, if possible, to see if both entities can use the same person, thus reducing the cost. Board member Marsha Trahan said she had worked with the previous provider and was very satisfied with his work. Supt. Lemons said the Board should decide by October, to give time to get the work done.
Supt. Lemons gave a report on COVID-19 in the schools, saying not much has changed. The mask mandate has been extended by the Governor, and while COVID is in the schools it seems to be on a downward trend. His concern is with the younger students who are often asymptomatic and can spread the virus unknowingly. He expects COVID to be an issue for the next few months, with infections coming in waves.
Lemons requested an increase in the number of personnel, from 282.5 to 285.5, based on two employee sabbaticals and the need for an interpreter for a recent transfer student. No new teaching positions were created.
Several repair and construction projects are in the planning stage or about to be advertised for bids. The new South Cameron High School gym complex is in the design phase, with preliminary floor plans to be presented in the next few weeks.