St. Margaret students enjoy newly-renovated school

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 7:24 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Students at St. Margaret Catholic School were in for a wonderful surprise today.

Not only was it their first day back to class, but junior high schoolers walked through the doors of their newly-renovated school building for the first time.

“Storms happened in 2020, and we received a great deal of damage at the time, so we’ve been in recovery mode since 2020,” said Wendy Wicke, the school’s principal.

At least 120 junior high school students were displaced for three years, after Hurricane Laura destroyed parts of the school, causing extensive water and roof damage. Principal Wendy Wicke explained what this new opportunity means.

“It’s home, and it feels like we’ve moved back home with a face lift, and it was a very pretty face lift, so we’re excited about that.”

Wicke said it’s like a homecoming for the students and credits their resilience as the reason why they were able to witness this day, as she recalls the journey.

“They went to ICCS on the third floor with curtained walls and things like that, so they lived through that for almost a year. And then we moved across the street and we knew we were one step closer to home across the street and they made that work as a school,” said Wicke.

Student Emily Guillory is looking forward to this new experience.

“It was kind of better than I imagined, I was really excited to see how it would look because they had showed us pictures and everything, but I didn’t think it would be the same, and I was very excited,” Guillory said.

“New floors, new classrooms, total renovation on bathrooms. They are now handicap accessible, so they’re up to code, basically everything is new in here, new roof; it was really tore down to the studs and we started over,” said Wicke.

Restoration now begins solely on St. Margaret Elementary School.

“I love this place. There’s no better place than St. Magaret Catholic School in the entire diocese of Lake Charles,” said Wicke.