May 6, 2020

RI International Recommends Arkel Constructors for Bridge Center Project

Baton Rouge, La (May 6, 2020) — On Friday, May 1st, the Bridge Center for Hope Board of Directors held a Special Board meeting for RI International (RII), the selected service provider to operate the Bridge Center to announce their recommendation for a general contractor. RII recommended Arkel Constructors and was unanimously approved by the Board.

Per RII executives, Arkel offered the most comprehensive bid and the quickest construction time for the center. The $3.8 million, 24,000 square feet center will be completed by late fall and is expected to open this year. The center will have the capacity to serve up to 5,000 people per year.

Licensed staff will stabilize people and offer them a path to mental health and/or substance use treatment.

The center will be located in Mid City, across from Baton Rouge General. Operations will be funded by $6 million in annual taxes that were passed by voters in November 2018.

Bridge Center, a nonprofit, selected RI International to operate the center. RII is the leading provider of crisis services in the country, and its innovative protocols have become industry standards.

Sahene Construction was the other bidder; four firms started the bid process but didn’t submit an offer. RI International recommended Arkel for several reasons. Arkel’s bid included a detailed project schedule, with substantial site completion by November 2nd. As well, the company has experience in building medical facilities.

This proposal allows for a simultaneous launch of the crisis receiving center, substance use, and respite programs as opposed to a phased approach. Also, the price is below comparable facilities that range from $4.6 to $5.2 million.

“RI International reported that no other facilities are providing this level of comprehensive care. Having this facility will become a huge community asset for the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish, and we’re excited to be able to deliver a facility of this caliber under one location for the community,” said Charlotte Claiborne, Bridge Center Executive Director