School Board hopes for December completion of Oakdale Elementary

<p><span class="caption-text"><span>The concrete slab and partial metal beams are all that remain of a major portion of Oakdale Elementary School destroyed by a massive fire in late May. Students in grades pre-kindergarten through first grade will remain in what is left of the old campus while those in grades 2-4 will be relocated to the middle school campus which houses grades 5-8.</span></span></p>

<p class="p1">OBERLIN — The rebuild of Oakdale Elementary School is well underway.

<p class="p1">Superintendent Michael Doucet told the School Board on Monday that crews are making progress on the rebuild project following a fire a year ago which damaged about 80 percent of the school including several classes, library, cafeteria, media room and administrative offices.

<p class="p1">“I am very pleased with the way things are going and hopefully if we can get three weeks of good weather without any rain they will be able to close the structure in,” Doucet said.

<p class="p1">The project is nearly 40 percent complete.

<p class="p1">Crews are continuing to deck the roof to seal the structure up, he said. Work is also continuing on the gym roof and a wing that was left standing following the fire.

<p class="p1">Duct work for heating and cooling is also in progress and electrical work on the interior walls is being completed.

  1. Fire destroys Oakdale school

<p class="p1">Enclosing the structure will allow crews to continue to work indoors despite weather conditions outdoors, thus speeding up the project, School Board member Gregory Monceaux said.

<p class="p1">“The superintendent of the job tells me that probably next week they will be far enough along to be able to bring in more crews to keep them busy at all times and speed things up even faster,” Doucet said.

<p class="p1">On Monday, the board approved a $305,654 change order increase for renovations of the parking lot. All the cement parking lots have been damaged by heavy trucks and will have to be redone, Doucet said.

<p class="p1">The project is on track to be completed by the end of the year, he said.

<p class="p1">“If they can finish in time we can start to move in over the Christmas holidays, but if it isn’t completed on time we may have to wait until after the school year because it is such a big task,” he said of the moving.

<p class="p1">Students are currently attending school on separate campuses. About 300 students in grades pre-K to 1 are attending school at what was left of the old school campus, while those in grades 2-4 are attending classes on the middle school campus.

<p class="p1">The School Board awarded a $6.2 million bid to M.D. Descant Inc. of Bunkie in December for the project.

<p class="p1">Most of the project will be covered by a $7 million insurance claim.

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