TIMELINE ANNOUNCED FOR RESTORED CAMPUSES, CONSTRUCTION OF TEMPORARY CAMPUSES
Superintendent Rick Wentzel announced that all students displaced from their home schools because of flood damage will be back on their original campuses or in new temporary campuses by the end of January 2017.
Students at Denham Springs High School and Denham Springs Freshman High will be back on their original campuses on Jan. 5 – the first day of the school year’s second semester. Students at Southside Elementary and Southside Junior High will also transfer to their new temporary campuses on Jan. 5. Those temporary campus are located on property behind Juban Parc Elementary and Juban Parc Junior High, respectively.
Students at Denham Springs Elementary will be relocated to a temporary campus adjacent to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Hatchell Lane in Denham Springs. That campus is expected to be ready to welcome students by Jan. 30. Its delayed opening has been caused by FEMA code issues and a mandated review of the site by FEMA’s Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation program, which determines if undeveloped property contains significant evidence of historic Native American activity.
“We finally have clearance to move forward on establishing the temporary campus for Denham Springs Elementary, but unfortunately, red tape has delayed our efforts by nearly three to four weeks,” Wentzel said. “Assuming that weather does not further hamper our progress, we feel certain we can have the students, teachers and staff of Denham Springs Elementary relocated by the end of January.”
Wentzel noted that students and employees for Denham Springs Elementary will resume their present configurations at Eastside Elementary, Northside Elementary and Freshwater Elementary on Jan. 5 and remain on those campuses until the new temporary campus is completed by end of the month.
DISPLACED STUDENTS TO BE WELCOMED WITH CLEAN, FURNISHED CAMPUSES
Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy said the temporary campuses for Denham Springs Elementary, Southside Elementary and Southside Junior High will each consist of 40 classrooms, a library, cafeteria, administrative building, special education building and multi-purpose building.
“There are 68 sections that occupy nine buildings, and all of those buildings are connected by a series of covered decks. All three campuses are designed for a capacity of 500 students,” Murphy said, noting that the cost of establishing the three temporary campuses is more than $11 million.
He said another $5 million to $6 million is being spent to restore the Denham Springs High School and Denham Springs Freshman High campuses. Those campuses will receive a final cleaning in the coming weeks, and furniture and technology systems will be delivered and installed. However, because of time constraints, the painting of the classrooms will not be completed before the students return.
“Our students will return to clean classrooms and facilities, but many of the walls and structures at the high school and freshman high will have the visible signs of new construction and repairs, since we will not be able to repaint before they move back in,” Murphy said. “Our principals will work with the contractors to find appropriate times to get painters into the school without disturbing class instruction, but that’s likely to take some time.”
LIFE SKILLS APARTMENT OPENS ON SPRINGFIELD MIDDLE CAMPUS
Livingston Parish Public Schools recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Life Skills Apartment-East, located on the campus of Springfield Middle School, which will allow the district to double its capacity to serve students with significant disabilities in the parish.
The new facility, which is a simulated home environment equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, den and pull-down bed, better enables instructors to teach students how to perform daily activities in hopes of enabling them to live a safer, more independent lifestyle in their own homes or in a group home setting.
This is the district’s second Life Skills Apartment. The other facility is located on the campus of Denham Springs High School. It serviced all the parish’s high-school aged students with significant disabilities prior to the campus being closed due to flood damage. When both facilities are open on Jan. 5, the parish’s two facilities will serve approximately 130 students in grades 6-12.
“With the addition of the Life Skills Apartment-East, we can offer better service to our east-side students, and we can double our capacity parishwide,” said Eric Penalber, director of the Special Education Department. “Before now, we could only serve our high-schoolers, but now with this new facility, we can extend this training to our middle school students.”
EXXONMOBIL GIVES DONATION TO SOUTHSIDE JUNIOR HIGH
LIVINGSTON PARISH 4-H STUDENTS TRAVEL TO WISCONSIN TO ATTEND THE NATIONAL 4-H DAIRY CONFERENCE.