Health unit employees move out for asbestos abatement

By Paige Nash

Employees of the Webster Parish Health Unit – Minden location were instructed to move out of the building a couple of weeks ago following the discovery of asbestos tiles in some of the flooring. An abatement company was called in to begin the process of safely removing the material.  

In construction, an abatement is required when more serious problems are present, such as mold, extensive fire damage or in this case, asbestos. This removal process is estimated to take approximately four weeks.  

Following the completion of the abatement, a general contractor out of Shreveport, Thrash Construction Services L.L.C., will be coming in to complete renovations on both floors of the Health Unit/LSU Ag Center. 

The state inspected the building over a year ago and presented the Webster Parish Police Jury with a list of repairs and updates that were needed. This past April the jury began advertising the job to be bid on. During a pre-bid walk-through the prospective bidders discovered that more work was needed in addition to the repairs already listed on the bid.  

This list included replacing floors, painting, converting light fixtures and installation of new ceiling tiles where needed.  

The bid process began again a few months later. Thrash Construction Services was officially awarded the job on November 1 with a low bid of $258,700.  

The company plans to begin working immediately after the abatement and is projecting to be finished with the job after the first of the year. 

“It is mainly finishes with a fairly decent amount of square footage,” said Project Manager Chris Cox. “We do have some color selections to be made, but it’s basic stuff. I wouldn’t think the actual work would take 30 to 45 days at the most.” 

Originally, the Health Unit/LSU Ag Center were not expected to be closed while these renovations were taking place, but due to the need for an abatement, that has changed. The employees of the Health Unit are temporarily located at the Springhill Health Unit, while employees of the LSU Ag Center are scattered across Bossier, Homer and Minden. 

Until renovations are completed, contact the Springhill Health Unit at 318-539-4314 or any of the other neighboring clinics. Calls are being forwarded from the usual contact number for the LSU Ag Center at 318-371-1371. 

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