DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Demolition of the old campus and construction of the new is underway at a Denham Springs Elementary School.
The school’s 55,000 square foot campus flooded in August of 2016 and had to be demolished. Twenty-four classrooms, five special education rooms, and two computer labs were destroyed.
Now, the new 80,000 square foot campus will feature 32 classrooms, five special ed rooms, and two computer labs. The campus will be located at 306 N Range Ave. and should be completed by the start of the 2021-22 school year.
“We certainly are taking this opportunity to invest in improvements that make our students safer and that give our students greater opportunities to engage in learning activities,” School Board President Buddy Mincey, Jr. said. “Much thanks to our school administrators, teachers, and architects for their collaboration on this new design.”
A new library will include a reading nook and instructional area large enough for a full class of students, as well as a full view of the playground.
Officials with Livingston Parish Public Schools say the main entrance to the school will feature a tiered seating area where students can wait for their buses or as a small assembly area big enough for about 80 people. Corridors outside the classrooms will include space for learning beyond the classroom.
The campus will have a secure perimeter with only one public entrance. All other entrances will require a key, school officials say.
The new cafeteria will seat 275.
School officials say the school’s 21st century design will include more collaborative learning spaces, better security, more natural lighting, and greater capacity for technology. The design will also pay homage to the community’s history with an exterior design that complements the nearby Historic District and will be similar to the original Denham Springs High School that was located at the site of the elementary school and destroyed by fire in January of 1950.
The new school was designed by Ziler Architects of Lafayette and will cost a total of $14.5 million.