LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - This time last year, residents in Hackberry were voting yes to a new state-of-the-art high school for the community. Nearly a year and two hurricanes later, the vision is finally coming to life.
After a year that got off to a rocky start with COVID-19 and then two back to back hurricanes, officials in Hackberry say this is a great way to finish off the year.
“It is finally nice to have something really positive," said Hackberry High Principal Jimmy Witherwax.
A positive change years in the making. After a successful election last year, ground was officially broken Monday on the new Hackberry High School.
“At this time with Laura, the school just showed it’s age," said Superintendent Charley Lemons. "It’s been a great school for 70 years but it’s time to put the kids in a safe school that they can depend on.”
Lemons says it’s nice to share some good news after the community sustained not one but two devastating blows.
“It wasn’t easy. Obviously when you look around after Laura and then Delta on top of it with the damage. It’s significant. You can look at the school behind me. We’re fixing to have to put a new roof on the school," Lemons said.
Even before the storms he along with Witherwax said age definitely played a factor on any given school day.
“2 classrooms were demolished. So, we’re busting it to seams and we need some space and we’re really looking forward to having the space for these kids," Witherwax said.
Plans for the new 70-thousand square-foot school call for 30 classrooms, 2 state-of-the-art science labs and will ultimately help ease overcrowding at the current location.
“And we’re going to hold them to those dates. We’re excited, the kids are excited. It’s a real positive note that we need right now in the community.”
The new Hackberry High School will be built on the current site of the Rodeo Arena and is expected to be complete in 2022. As for the Rodeo Arena, it will be moved to the old school site once the new school is built.
Specs of School:
- 70,000 sq.ft
- 30 classrooms
- 2 computer labs
- 2 science labs
- 2 conference rooms
- Administrative office space
- Nurse/First Aid/Sick Room