DENHAM SPRINGS – Denham Springs Elementary won’t be opening its temporary campus at the end of the month, said Rick Wentzel, superintendent of Livingston Parish schools.

“The weather did affect it,” meeting the July 31 target date, Wentzel said Monday. “February 6, that’s what we’re shooting for.”

“We were told this morning that the placing of the buildings will be done by Wednesday, weather permitting,” Wentzel said.

 “They’ve got extra crews to put in the walkways and roofs. We won’t know until the end of the week,” if the new Feb. 6 target date will be reached, he said.

“If not the 6th, we shoot for the 13th. We don’t see any later than Feb. 13 at this point,” Wentzel said.

The school site on Hatchell Lane, rented from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, was the last to see work start.

Denham Springs Elementary was one of the hardest hit schools by August’s flooding, with Southside Elementary and Southside Junior High.

The two Southside schools are now on campuses of modular buildings at Juban Parc Elementary and Juban Parc Junior High.

FEMA’s “undisturbed land” policy required that 10 Native American groups agreed they had no interest or connection to the land.

One group, the Band of Mississippi Choctaws, required 25 holes dug on the site, which found nothing, before approving it.

This cost three to four weeks of work, Wentzel has said.

That clearance was required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has earmarked $3.3 million for Denham Springs Elementary, the federal agency announced in December.

But the delay pushed xxxx (the contractor) back and made the site more  vulnerable to Louisiana’s unpredictable winter weather.

“The problem this time of the year is the weather,” Wentzel said, “but we’re expecting better weather this week.”

The superintendent added he was looking at Friday as the day the school system’s information technology personnel should begin setting things up and the first waxing of some floors.

“We will start to move teachers’ materials periodically” into buildings by the end of the week, Wentzel said. 

Denham Springs Elementary will have the same type of buildings at the other school campuses, 10-room modular buildings, with elevated, wooden walkways and a canopy to shield students from rain.

The first walkways were visible Monday at the campus site.

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