Early plans outlined for Beauregard courthouse renovations - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Early plans outlined for Beauregard courthouse renovations

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Rendering of plans (Source: Beauregard Parish Police Jury) Rendering of plans (Source: Beauregard Parish Police Jury)
DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) -

Having a quarter-cent sales tax voted on and approved in December's election was the first step, now for residents and officials in Beauregard Parish, the design and development stage has started in renovating the parish's courthouse.

"It's hard to say what would have happened if that sales tax had not been approved," said Judge Martha O'Neal, "But it wouldn't have been good for the courthouse or the parish."

That sales tax went into effect Jan 1 and will fund the annexation and renovation of the century-old courthouse which, in many cases, doesn't meet ADA standards.

Now with that vote out of the way and the sales tax implemented, Architect Paul Lemaire says his job can begin.

"For the next few months, I'll be gathering different things from the departments in the courthouse and planning out different things," said the Lafayette based architect via telephone. "This will be a project that will take up to three years to complete and we're in the very early stages."

Lemaire presented a preliminary timeline to the Beauregard Parish Police Jury on Tuesday. 

Some of those dates included a blueprinting stage from September 2013 to May 2014 and a bidding stage in August of 2014. Each stage will be reviewed and accepted by a committee that is in the process of being formed.

"The architect has a good reputation in the parish," said O'Neal. "He has worked with the school board, most recently the completion of the new South Beauregard Elementary building."

While the process will be lengthy, O'Neal says a big part of her job and others working with the renovation and annexation will be to be transparent with the residents of the parish in letting them know that while it's taking time, their money is being used properly.

Hear more from O'Neal on later editions of 7News.

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