Beauregard Parish students to return to school next week

Updated: Sep. 25, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT
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LONGVILLE, La. (KPLC) - Just over a month after Hurricane Laura, the Beauregard Parish School Board will welcome students back to school next week.

Superintendent Timothy Cooley spoke on the damage to the schools and their plan moving forward.

South Beauregard Upper Elementary is one of the hardest hit schools in the district.

“We lost probably 70-80 percent of the roofing there, so that building, there will be a part of it that we cannot use," he said. "We are making preparations [and] we’re bringing in some temporary buildings.”

Just a metal grid is left of the ceiling in the cafeteria where students once ate lunch and chatted with friends.

A temporary roof now lines the top of the school where floor tiles shattered on the outside. On the inside, a white divider blocks a portion of the school that can’t be reopened. Not even the principal’s office was spared.

“At the south campus, we will use the lower elementary and the high school campuses cafeterias to provide for our upper elementary students where we lost that cafeteria," he said.

Cooley said Carver Elementary is another school that was hit hard by Hurricane Laura. The library was completely destroyed.

“We lost the roof on this library and you can see that we have extensive damage inside," he said. “This library has been cleaned out [...] cause we lost all of our library books; some of the computers were [also] damaged in the process.”

At first look, it’s hard to picture students walking the halls anytime soon, but Cooley said they are pushing forward with a plan to bring students back on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

“Right now, we are temping the roof because this roof fell over onto another hallway," he said. "We hope to have all this finished by next Tuesday so that we can keep water out of our school.”

Some of the schools in the district had minor damage but Cooley said with power off for an extended period of time, it created issues they had to fix.

Through the cleanup process, he wants parents to know they will provide a safe environment for students and will make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

“We just want parents to know that we worked very hard over this month [...] and we’re looking forward to having them back in our schools and pushing forward as normal of an education process as we can," he said.

Cooley said restoration efforts wouldn’t be possible without the help of all of their staff and he looks forward to students finally being back in school.

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