Opelousas officials have a plan to save on new civic center - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Opelousas officials have a plan to save on new civic center

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Last summer, the Opelousas South Park Civic Center burned to the ground. 

Now, CAO Rod Sias says he has a plan to save a lot of money in rebuilding the facility.

Sias said he's come up with a plan to hire a metal building company, General Steel, to build a metal building for $6,400 in engineering and design fees, compared to possibly nearly $30,000 if the city used an architect. 

The budget to replace the building is set at $400,000 with about $28,000 set aside for architect and management services. But the city's recreation board felt the money would be better spent on the building itself, rather than on an architect. They asked Sias to find a way to put more money into the building, Sias said.

He said he talked to General Steel and got a quote for $6,400 for engineering and design services. Sias said a metal building company would probably do its own engineering work anyway, meaning that the board would be paying for engineering twice. 

Sias said he's not sure what the board will do with his plan. 

"They have to make that decision," Sias said. "Initially they made the decision that they did not want to use architectural services on the building. That's well within their rights."

Sias said bigger projects need an architect. 

"Now, what I want to say, do say, is that we have large-scale projects in the works that need architectural services," Sias said. "I would much rather have our local architects work on a $40 million project, as opposed to a $400,000 project."

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