School Board will buy Pellerin Insurance building
School board members last week approved the purchase of the Pellerin Insurance building near their new Administrative Office to further centralize staff operations.
The recent bond issue approved by parish voters included a $3 million allocation for an annex that board staffers envisioned would be built adjacent to the Administrative Office completed several years ago on Corporate Boulevard.
Frank Pellerin, president of Pellerin Insurance, offered to sell the building, and several adjacent tracts, for $1,775,000.
The original idea was that the annex would likely house personnel from the Special Services department currently located in metal buildings on West Bridge Street across from the old Breaux Bridge Elementary/College and Career Readiness Center.
But Supt. Dr. Lottie Beebe told board members that she will probably recommend that the Administrative Office staff undergo a realignment with departments that have more direct dealings with the public and board employees relocated to the Pellerin building, which is closer and more visible to Rees Street.
The Pellerin facility is about 16 years old and contains around 10,000 sq. ft., according to Pellerin.
Final approval of the sale will await an independent appraisal, inspection and other legal issues, but Beebe said she was confident that the property will be appraised for more than the asking price.
“The building seems very suitable for our needs,” she told board members, “and should require only minor renovations.”
Pellerin, who said the firm wanted to move to a location “closer to our funeral home,” asked that the actual sale be finalized in six months since he has several tenants in office suites who will need time to relocate.
In another bond issue related project, board members approved the expenditure of $13,658 for equipment needed to set up a safer Main Street crosswalk at Breaux Bridge Jr. High between the main campus and the school gym.
The plan is to install a traffic light that would be activated by a faculty/staff member at the same time that locking gates on each side of the street are opened.
Consulting engineer Jim Poché explained that the system would operate wirelessly, but that the $16,000 expenditure only covers the equipment itself, not the installation.