Although construction of the Monterey High gym has been delayed by periodic heavy rain, a high water table and overall adverse weather conditions, the project is moving forward though at a slow pace, Concordia Parish School Board Director of Business Affairs Tom O’Neal said this week.

”The building pad, grade beams and even the parking area all have just not yet met the necessary test that would allow for concrete to be poured,” O’Neal said. “We have actually attempted on several occasions to make a pour and then for one reason or another, have not been able to do so.”

O’Neal said that “as is normal for a structure of this size, we have engaged the services of a geo-technical firm to guide us in the right direction and we have just recently discussed the moisture issues with a second similar engineering firm seeking a solution to our current problems. Clearly we want this project to get underway, but we also want to ensure the stability of the facility when it is completed.”

He said that “with any kind of luck, maybe with another week to 10 days with the current heat levels that we are currently having, our problems will be solved.”

In September 2020, the School Board awarded the contract for construction of the project to Don M. Barron Contractor Inc. of Farmerville for $3,520,000. That included the base bid $3,210,000 and alternative bids of $102,000 for retractable bleachers and dressing room lockers, and $208,000 for the parking lot.

The 15,940 square-feet facility will feature a permanent stage, bleachers concession and parking.

The architectural firm M3A of Jackson, Miss., designed the gym. Preston McKay is project manager.

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