Sulphur Public Works facility being upgraded

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SULPHUR — Upcoming renovations to the Sulphur Public Works facility are in response to deficiencies brought to light during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, said Public Works Director John Bruce.

Bruce said about 15 people stayed in the building during the hurricanes.

“It became quickly obvious we weren’t set up for it,” he said. “We had limited restroom facilities, no shower facilities and were lacking in security.

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“Shortly after that, we started looking at renovations. That’s what this building accomplishes.”

The renovations, which will upgrade the restrooms and add showers, will add 3,500 square feet to the building and cost $320,000, Bruce said.

He said he expected the project to be sent out for bid and the bid awarded by the end of the year.

The building will be extended on both ends, Bruce said. One extension will be a new workshop, while the other will have a new conference room, new bathrooms and new showers.

Bruce said the additions would make the building able to handle about 25 people during emergencies.

He said that during emergencies, personnel stay on site to deal with drainage issues, utility issues and roadway clearance.

Bruce said the upgrades would come in handy in everyday operations, the conference room for emergency training and the showers for employees who had to work “in poor conditions.”

He said, however, “the driving force was anticipating emergency conditions.”

Bruce said if there was money available, security and parking improvements would be made, including security cameras through which employees who stayed during emergencies could monitor the outside of the building.

The project is being paid for through Community Block Development Grants administered through the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.

Bruce said Sulphur is responsible for $60,000 of the $320,000 cost.

“It’s a project that’s long overdue,” he said. “You get in an emergency condition, it highlights the need.”