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Work on Martin Park, J.I. Barron highlights $40 million in Rapides school projects


ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — About $40 million in construction projects are wrapping up across the Rapides Parish School District — many just in time for the first day of school.

That figure includes everything from $10 million in roofing projects since Jan. 1 to $14 million in practically new schools.

The Town Talk reports ( ) Martin Park Elementary will open its doors to students again on Aug. 12 after a fire in October 2012 sent faculty and students to the former Hadnot-Hayes Elementary building. The $6.7 million project included abatement, rebuilding and restoration of contents.

Some minor construction like stage lighting and baseboards will continue during the school year, said Roy Rachal, ancillary over risk management, maintenance and construction for the district.

"Martin Park is about 99 percent done," Rachal said. "The only thing not ready is the food prep area. We will satellite food service from the LEAD Center."

The open date for the cafeteria kitchen is set for Oct. 1 — a date Rachal said hinges on the arrival of ordered equipment.

A nearly 49,300-square foot addition to J.I. Barron Elementary in Pineville has room for fourth- through sixth-grade classrooms, band, orchestra, a gymnasium, two computer labs and cafeteria seating area.

Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk,

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