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CASSANDRA JENKINS — Demolition proposal for the West Groves education center approved

The Port Neches-Groves Independent School District is moving forward with the 2019 Bond Project. First on the list is the demolition of the West Groves Education Learning Center.

The school board approved the demolition proposal at Monday night’s monthly meeting.

SETEX Construction in Beaumont received the award bid for $169,850.

Maintenance Director Jeff Bergeron said the job is focused on safety and scheduling.

“We just had a residential demolition, but this of course is a commercial demolition,” he said. “We put a lot of emphasis on safety and scheduling, which plays a big role, not just pricing. Although the folks we did pick were the lowest prices.”

Bergeron said when looking at a demolition company for a commercial building, safety is a big factor in the decision process.

“You don’t want anyone getting hurt on the job,” he said. “So the group that we picked had a superior safety schedule. Their milestones are really good on their scheduling and shows exactly when they are going to reach them. So we felt like for this particular job they were the best option, and they are a local group.”

Superintendent Mike Gonzales said project manager CBRE Heery developed a rubric to grade construction companies on factors important to the district.

“Price is important, but it’s also important to get an organization that knows exactly what they are doing,” he said. “Safety is key in everything that we do. The last thing we want is for something to go wrong in the demolition.”

The West Groves Education Learning Center is set for demolition by the end of the year. An exact date has not been set at this point.

Assistant Superintendent Julie Gauthier said the rest of the bond project is still on schedule.

“We’ve been able to keep all of our timelines with the project,” she said. “Our project manager, CBRE Heery, and our architect, VLK, have been incredible on keeping things on target. They’ve done virtual meetings, emailed, called, anything we need to keep on schedule.”

The Port Neches-Groves ISD Bond 2019 timeline included completion of the planning and designing of campuses serving grades third through fifth.

Construction of those campuses and the planning and designing of prekindergarten through second grade campuses are scheduled for the 2020-21 school year, alongside the demolition of the learning center.

Cassandra Jenkins is a news reporter for Port Arthur Newsmedia. She can be reached at cassie.jenkins@panews.com.

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