DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Livingston Parish Public School leaders unveiled the architectural rendering of the new K-8 Southside Campus on April 11, announcing the new $45 million campus will be a state-of-the-art learning facility.
During the unveiling, Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy said the district has heard from the communities of the two schools in its planning for the new schools. The architectural design of the new campus was done by Alvin Fairburn & Associates of Denham Springs.
The new campus design will incorporate Southside Elementary (K-5) and Southside Junior High (6-8). Both schools were damaged by the August 2016 flood. Much of the original campus was demolished to make way for new construction.
Southside Elementary will not be rebuilt at its original site on Range Avenue. Instead, the school will be relocated to the site of the 27-acre Southside Junior High site on Highway 16, according to a release from the school.
The elementary campus will accommodate 700 students and occupy the right-facing side of the complex. The junior high will accommodate 1,000 students and occupy the left-facing side of the complex. The rear section will include a band room, gymnasium, multi-purpose room and cafeteria that can be sectioned off for the different grade levels or opened to host large gatherings.
The campus will have a two-story, glass-walled library located at the center of the main building.
School Board President Buddy Mincey, Jr., said construction on the new “two-school” campus is expected to begin later this year, and completed at the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Mincey said the new campus will be built at an elevation of 9 ½ feet higher than the current elevation. Officials hope this move will reduce the chance of potential flood damage.
Southside Junior High and Southside Elementary currently occupy temporary facilities adjacent to Juban Parc Junior High and Juban Parc Elementary, respectively.
Denham Springs Elementary is the third school that was significantly damaged during the historic floods. The school occupies a temporary campus next to Immaculate Conception Church. However, officials plan to move the school to a new two-story facility at the school’s original site. Officials said construction for that school should be finished in the same time frame as the new K-8 Southside Campus.
That campus is expected to be rebuilt at a cost of $14.5 million.