By Cyndi Sellers
The Cameron Parish School Board voted Monday to offer its Administration Building in Cameron for sale. The vote was unanimous with one member, Telesha Bertrand, absent. School Supt. Charley Lemons had reported that the appraisal of the building’s value came in at $6,672,000, more than the original cost to build it. The Board’s architect has estimated it would cost $750,000 to remodel the bus barn on Trosclair Road into offices and a meeting room sufficient to needs.
Lemons cautioned that the Board may or may not receive offers equal to the appraisal, and the prospective buyer, Venture Global LNG, can seek another appraisal. If that appraisal is within five percent of the Board’s appraisal, it can be accepted as fair market value. The least the School Board can accept, then, would be $6,338,400. The building cost about $6 million to build after Hurricane Rita.
The School Board runs an annual deficit of about $8 million, so an influx of $6 million would help bring the budget closer into balance for one year. Eliminating the annual cost of insurance on the large building would be an ongoing savings. It has not been explained where the busses would be maintained if the barn is converted. The barn is currently undergoing restoration repairs for damage caused by Hurricane Laura. Bids will be received Friday on repairs to the upper floors of the Administration Building and replacement of the fire alarm control panel and sprinkler control panel. The construction estimate is $3.85 million and will take up to 210 days to complete.
Other hurricane recovery projects to go out for bid in the next few weeks and months include the Grand Lake High School final phase, Hackberry High School VoAg Building demolition and rebuild, Johnson Bayou High School Phase II, and South Cameron High School final phase and new gym.