Construction down to the wire at NTMS | State fire marshal approves modular buildings for occupancy

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, August 8, 2012

While ramp construction continued at Northside Tech Middle School, the first day of the 2012-13 school year wasn’t impacted at all, as dozens of kids stepped off buses and entered the campus on Tuesday, many for the first time. Judging by the smiles, hugs and laughter, most are happy to be back at what one teacher, who was waiting to greet students as they exited their buses, said is a “great school.”

Because of its burgeoning enrollment resulting from the Bogalusa City School Board’s decision to open up enrollment to all middle school students, Northside Tech was forced to place four new modular buildings on its grounds, each housing two new classrooms, to accommodate what is expected to be a doubling of the 200-student enrollment from last year. And because approval of the buildings was somewhat late in coming from board, timing was tight to get all the necessary construction in place before the first school bell rang on Aug. 7. However, through the efforts of Vic Boyles, maintenance coordinator for Bogalusa City Schools, the bulk of the work necessary for school to open was complete and approved by the state fire marshal on Monday, he said.

All of the electrical and plumbing hookups were complete, and all of the decks and most of the ramps were in place. What’s left, said Boyles, is to get the fire alarm system complete, tying it all together, which the fire marshal said would have to be done within the next two weeks. Also, railings must be added to the ramps, and various other details, such as the removal of the wheels from beneath the buildings, must be done. The department was given a 30-day deadline for the completion of the entire project, Boyles said.

As of early Tuesday morning, construction workers from Smith Construction of Bogalusa, which was hired to do all the decks and ramps, were just finishing up the last ramp at the back of the bloc of buildings. Boyles could be seen putting yellow caution tape wherever construction was incomplete, the safety of the students being the top priority.

See Friday’s Daily News for photos of opening day of school for Bogalusa City Schools and Washington Parish Schools.