It began the year as the land on which a flood-damaged building remained dormant for two years and it became an empty lot by the end of January.
Less than three months later, it begins a journey that will bring forth a finished product that will figure as a centerpiece for the City of Denham Springs.
An artist’s renderings of the new Denham Springs Elementary School capture the image of how the future will look for the city, and the environment in which our children will begin their educational journey.
Livingston Parish school system Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy summed it best when he called it a facility to accommodate learning in the 21st century.
It also marks the first-ever two-story school building for an elementary school in Livingston Parish and a symbol of the new era for Denham Springs.
The new campus will house 700 students in 80,000 square feet of buildings – an increase from the 55,000 square feet of the now-demolished building.
We have seen many comebacks and scores of reopenings in the 2½ years since the August 2016 flood devastated the parish.
All of them hold a special place in our hearts, but few measure up to the importance of a school returning to its original location, ready to welcome back students.
The temporary facility has served Denham Springs Elementary well. Between a gracious gesture from Immaculate Conception catholic Church and a four-month turnaround from startup to completion, DSES and other schools in the parish rebounded well following the immediate aftermath of the flood.
The completion of the school by August 2021 – an ambitious time frame – will indeed put into action the words on signage in front of the old school after the flood: “We will be back stronger than ever” and “The best is yet to come.”