Decades of Commitment Create Thriving Schools in Lafayette Parish

Building a legacy of community excellence


A Firm Foundation

The blueprints of every education facility are crafted with the same vision – a chance to dream big and imagine the wealth of opportunity a space could offer those who walk its halls. In our 100-year history, there have been times when a project exceeds anything we could have dreamed. These special moments set the foundation for an entire community and create a new standard of life and learning.

Lafayette Parish has become a hub of innovation and imagination for education, born from special moments where a space takes on an entirely new meaning and creates something unique to spark further change and evolution.

Bernhard Involvement

For more than 50 years, Bernhard has been entrusted with mechanical and electrical construction for schools across Lafayette Parish, most recently including the Woodvale Elementary School addition, the LJ Alleman Elementary School addition, and HVAC upgrades for multiple high school gymnasiums.

In 2017, Lafayette Parish School System was experiencing rapid growth and needed a new high school to better serve the community. The new facility, Southside High School, was the first to be constructed in Lafayette Parish in nearly 50 years. Bernhard provided mechanical and electrical construction for the new high school in Youngsville, La.

“What was unique about Southside High School was how quickly it needed to be constructed,” said Doug Dorsey, Bernhard vice president. “We had to get creative since 18 months is not long to build a brand-new campus.”

To deliver the project on this aggressive schedule, Bernhard worked as a design-assist partner to construction manager Lemoine.  Design-assist is an alternative construction method that embeds contracting expertise into the design process.  This allowed construction to start as the design was being finalized.

“Our team was brought on board early in the process,” said Dorsey, “When we broke ground on the project, construction documents were only 30% complete. We developed close working relationships with the design team and were able to coordinate with them as we built the project in the field.”

Construction of Southside High School was completed on time, opening for its first class of students in August 2017. The 256,000-square-foot school contains classrooms, administrative offices, a library, laboratories, dining facility, collaboration spaces, and two gymnasiums. Southside High School serves more than 1,200 students in the parish.

The addition of HVAC service and maintenance offerings has enabled Bernhard to support Lafayette Parish School System and other clients in the Lafayette area in a new way.  “We’ve had a full coverage maintenance contract with Lafayette Parish School System for the past nine years,” said Kevin Miller, business unit manager at Bernhard. “That means we continue to maintain and repair the equipment and HVAC systems at many facilities in the district, including Southside High School.” Miller and his team service more than 3.7 million square feet for the school district.

Our Commitment

“It’s something special to be a part of,” said Dorsey. “Many of our employees have children who have grown up attending Lafayette Parish schools. To be able to say we played a part in building those facilities and keeping them operating efficiently, means a lot to all of us.”

Bernhard ultimately strives to be a trusted partner for our customers. We have been trusted with expanding and maintaining the Lafayette Parish legacy over the past five decades with innovative spaces and practices that enable the parish to promote the education and growth of our communities. We are committed not only to building these facilities of learning, but to building the future of our communities.