State Attorney General’s Office’s e-mail convinces school board not to declare emergency to build North Vermilion Middle pavilion
The School Board decided not to declare an emergency declaration when it comes to building a pavilion at North Vermilion Middle School.
School Board member Chris Gautreaux made a motion at Thursday’s meeting to take back the emergency declaration and go out for public bids to build the pavilion.
They voted 8-0 to take back the emergency declaration.
The reason they changed their minds is because they received an e-mail from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office questioning why the board declared an emergency declaration to build a pavilion.
“I am going to do this against my better judgment,” said Gautreaux. “The people I talk to all agree that it should be under the emergency declaration. What is going to happen is that we are going to let the kids sit on the floor for a couple of weeks.”
Back in May, the school board voted to declare an emergency declaration to purchase modular classroom buildings and a modular building for a dining hall. Because of the large enrollment, NV Middle needs more classrooms and needs a cafeteria of its own.
However, the purchase of a cafeteria building was too expensive, so the school board just purchased classrooms.
At a school board committee meeting last week, school board attorney Kathy Boudreaux recommended to the school board not to agree to declare an emergency declaration to build the pavilion.
Despite her advice, Gautreaux told the board members he did his homework and talked to the attorney general’s office and the state auditors.
He reminded Boudreaux last week that back in May the school board declared an emergency declaration to buy classrooms and a modular building specifically for a cafeteria.
Boudreaux told the board that building a pavilion does not fall under the declaration emergency voted on in May.
Gautreaux told Boudreaux, “I know where I am going with this. A dining hall, dining pavilion is one in the same.”
The State Attorney General’s Office did not agree with Gautreaux’s thinking and sent the e-mail questioning the school board’s actions.
The pavilion is still going to get built, but now contractors from throughout the state can bid on the project, instead of just three.
The pavilion, with four fans and dining tables, is going to provide a place for the children to eat outside instead of eating their “Express lunches” in the gym.