School board discusses new stadium bleachers at PPHS
During the Evangeline Parish School Board’s meeting on Wednesday, board members discuss the continual increase of the cost for the new football stadium bleachers being constructed at Pine Prairie High School.
The project is one board member Mike Fontenot express concern over at the meeting after the board approved concrete work for the bleachers and realized that the cost of the project is now up to $214,000.00.
At the board’s meeting in February, board member Nancy Hamlin voiced the same concern as Fontenot when the board had to approve the cost of dirt work because that cost was not included in the original quote approved by the board.
Fontenot also expressed frustration over the fact that so much money was being spent on PPHS’s bleachers, while the school Fontenot represents, which is Mamou High, remains the only high school in the parish that does not have an air conditioned gymnasium like Ville Platte High, Basile High and PPHS.
Maintenance Supervisor Jason Hazelton, who is heading the project, then addressed the board an shared that he did not realize additional costs would arise for dirt and concrete work.
The board’s president, Wayne Dardeau, then shared the reason why VPHS, BHS and PPHS have gyms with air conditioners.
“The board did not pay for the air conditioning in the gym at Pine Prairie and Basile,” said Dardeau. “The people in Pine Prairie and Basile communities passed a tax for that; and at Ville Platte High, the board was court ordered to pay for theirs.”
Dardeau then continued, “And, when it comes to football, that was something that at first people in Pine Prairie didn’t really want but during consolidation, a federal judge said we had to have it. The school ended up having to pay for everything, such as uniforms, to start the football program. Now, the football field is where our students graduate, and I just hope the bleachers are complete for graduation this year like they should be.”
Hazelton also added, “We got into this project because of a safety issue with the rotten boards that the school board kept having to spend money to replace on the bleachers.”
By the end of the discussion, Fontenot asked that Hazelton from now on bring the school board an estimated cost for an entire project before the board is asked to approve something.
During the meeting, custodians from two schools were also recognized for having the cleanest campus’s over the last quarter.
The “big school” recognized was Bayou Chicot Elementary, while the “small school” recognized was James Stephens Montessori.