For nearly a year, Labarre & Associates have worked hand-in-hand with the City of Walker on their new city hall site.
For many, it's surprising that nothing physical has appeared yet to show where city hall will sit, but the process leading up to construction is long, arduous, and has its pitfalls.
Monday, however, the city took another step in the right direction by announcing the winning bidder for their new city hall's construction. Walker will sign a contract with Stuart & Company General contractors for a total of $5,945,000 as the low bidder on the project.
Once the contract is executed, city residents will start to see dirt moving and a slab being poured within 30 days, city officials said.
In their work with Labarre, Walker eventually landed on a building that's roughly 10,000 square feet, and three stories tall. The initial focus will be to occupy the first two floors, while renting out the third until the city grew to such a point that it would need the space.
In March, the News interviewed Labarre about the process. According to principal Jay Labarre and, at the time, Vice President of Architecture Philip Kern, construction will take roughly 12 months.
The most important step? Site preparation for heavy rains, drainage, and material preparation.
Labarre cited a project they were involved with on O'Neal lane. It rains a lot in Louisiana, and the site was prepared specifically for drainage before anything was moved onto the grounds. Construction sites, typically, get messy during heavy rains but the spring deluges the area experienced didn't stop that construction.
So, by the end of 2020, Walker could be moving into its new City Hall.
“Our goal is to give the administration a building to meet their needs for the next 50 years,” Labarre said.
“We want them to occupy it for 50 years," Kern added, “We don’t want them to regret it in five years.”