Performing arts center last project set for bid

Deidre Cruse

 Most school projects in the Iberville Parish School System's $50 million construction program are complete or scheduled to be finished before the new year, and the final contract is about to be bid out, said Project Manager Patrick Norris.

Students at Plaquemine High School will be able to occupy the new honors classroom wing there, and the school's administration will open in new offices. The school's new welding facility will be finished by Thanksgiving.

Iberville Math Science and Arts Academy-West's new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) center is scheduled for completion by November, and renovations of the front of the school – including administrative offices and the library – should be finished by Christmas.

The final project – MSA-West's Performance Arts Building – will be bid out soon, Norris said. It will include a 500-seat auditorium, offices and performance rooms. 

Superintendent P. Edward Cancienne Jr. said the building would be available to students from throughout the school for the parish's Talent Machine and other programs.

Chief Academic Officer Elvis J. Cavalier, who writes plays for the Talent Machine, is looking forward to having a state-of-the-art auditorium for the productions.

He is writing a play called “Fire” for the Talent Machine this spring.

“It's about the fires within us and around us – love, hate, anxiety, confusion,” Cavalier said. “Basically, we're all surrounded by fires.”

The new building won't be ready in time for the May production, but probably will be for the one after that. Construction will take about 14 months from the time a contract is in place.