Johnson Bayou High holds groundbreaking for new facility - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Johnson Bayou High holds groundbreaking for new facility

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The Cameron Parish School Board celebrated the groundbreaking for the permanent school facility for Johnson Bayou High on Tuesday.

"We're quite excited as you could tell from the ceremony with our children. We're so excited. It's been pretty rough on us," said Brenda Sanders, Johnson Bayou High School principal.

Sanders is ready to get her students and teachers into a permanent school facility and out of the temporary facility.

"The new school that was finished after (Hurricane) Rita for not even a whole year and it was destroyed by (Hurricane) Ike. So, most of these kids hardly remember being in a regular school. Some of them have never been in a regular school other than just temporary buildings," Sanders said.

Cameron Parish Schools Superintendent Stephanie Rodrigue said Johnson Bayou High School has quite the storm history.

Rodrigue said the school was repaired and renovated after storm damage from Hurricane Rita in 2005 and shortly after in 2008, Hurricane Ike wiped it out completely.

It's been almost four years since Johnson Bayou has had a permanent school facility in its community and in just 22 months, the town's wait will be over. 

That is if there aren't any delays during the construction time.

"This community has suffered a great deal including loss in population and loss of enrollment, so this is actually commitment of the school board to the future of this community that it will thrive and that's why a school needed to be again the heart of this community of Johnson Bayou," Rodrigue said.

The new school will be an elevated building and will have a stronger structure.

"We hope that it can endure anything that Mother Nature puts in its path," Rodrigue said.

But until that actually happens ...

"Just everybody, keep us in their prayers and wish us luck that the project doesn't get delayed and we can be in our new school within 22 months," Sanders said.

Now, hurricanes are inevitable for the area, but in Johnson Bayou so is getting this new high school up and running.

The ribbon cutting for the new Johnson Bayou High School is expected for Fall 2014, according to Rodrigue.

Since Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Cameron Parish School Board has established four pre-k/12 schools in the four quadrants of Cameron Parish.

This was part of the vision that school board members had for the future of Cameron schools.

The new Johnson Bayou High School is the last of those four schools.

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