Book drive re-stocks Oakdale Elementary School after 2017 fire

Updated: Aug. 2, 2019 at 5:50 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In May of 2017, an electrical fire burned down a large portion of Oakdale Elementary School.

The fire heavily damaged the lunchroom and a multipurpose room, and the library collapsed.

“When we saw the blaze, and how significant this fire was, I mean, it’s something I’ll never forget," Mike Doucet, the retired Allen Parish School Superintendent, said.

Since that day, the school has been split, with half of the students in the wing that didn’t burn down, and half of them at the middle school.

Next week, they’ll all be back together under one roof.

“We’re looking forward to next Friday obviously, getting everybody back on the same campus," Kent Reed, the current Allen Parish School Superintendent, said. "That’s been difficult for two years.”

Reed said the rebuilding wouldn’t have been possible without the whole community coming together. Now, they’re asking for one last thing before the school is complete, and that’s books to re-stock the library.

“We lost so many books," Ann Monroe, the current principal of Oakdale Elementary School, said. "So these books, or the money that they’re donating towards our books, it’s so important to progress our library, to grow our library back to what we had before.”

A book drive is being held throughout the month of August.

Books can be dropped off at any First Federal Bank of Louisiana, to be given to the school.

While restocking an entire library may seem like a daunting task to some, Oakdale locals said they have no doubt that the shelves will be full by the end of the month.

“It’s a strong community that supports it’s schools, and supports each other," Julie Miller with First Federal, said.

The grand re-opening for the school will be Monday, Aug. 5.

Students will return to the school on Friday, Aug. 9.

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