school front

The sign at Denham Springs Elementary School offers a promise of what will come as the campus has been demolished with the exception of one building. A new two-story building will be built here, Livingston Parish School Board President Buddy Mincey Jr. said.

Most residents who lived in Livingston Parish during the August 2016 flood likely will never forget the devastation, nor will they ever be able to block out the image of abandoned flood-damaged structures.   

But in the same way time heals wounds, new buildings will replace the structures which the Federal Emergency Management Agency deemed unsuitable for repair.

Barring any delays, three schools – Denham Springs Elementary School, Southside Elementary and Southside Junior High – will welcome students back to the home campus.

It’s an ambitious schedule, considering all inevitable delays that go with such projects, but it’s a major step in the right direction.

The two elementary schools will be two-story buildings.

Meanwhile, the School Board will seek help from state Rep. J. Rogers Pope and Sen. Dale Erdey for capital outlay funding on turning lanes in hope of alleviating the traffic tie-ups in those areas.

Bidding for Denham Springs Elementary is set for July, with an August construction date. Southside bidding will go out in August, with plans to begin construction in September.

Most importantly, the completion of the three schools will mark the end of repairs from flood damage to campuses in the Livingston Parish school system.

The move will serve as one more way to remove another glaring reminder of the flood from the local landscape.

Make no mistake: Plenty of work remains in post-flood Livingston Parish. Many homes and structures remain abandoned or in need of repairs, and many roads still bear the damage from inundation.

At the same time, the move to rebuild our schools represents yet another sign that normal life will continue in its slow – but certain – return to Livingston Parish.

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