Officials hope new Live Oak High School will open by end of year

WATSON, LA (WAFB) - It could be the end of the year before the new Live Oak High School opens. Earlier this year, a copper theft put construction behind schedule. Now, delays from Hurricane Isaac have slowed progress again.

Three months into the school year, work is happening inside the school. Just not the kind the building was intended for.

"We're going to get them in by the end of the year and get them in ahead of the contract completion, which is the first of the year," said school board member Kellee Dickerson, about when officials anticipate students moving into the building.

Dickerson says this is the first high school being built in the parish in 40 years.

The project manager says they have until January 2013 to finish the school.

Hopes were that students would be in the building by now. Dickerson says they were even hopeful students could use the new football stadium for homecoming. Now it's questionable if the seniors will ever play here.

"Knowing it's (the stadium) complete. Problem was the front and parking situation to get them to the back. They're just now working on parking."

She says rain delays from Isaac set things back. That's in addition to a two-month delay after a copper theft.

But things are moving now. Concrete driveways have been poured around the school and slabs are going up to finish the rest. There are also stacks of sod piled up, waiting for workers to lay them in place.

"They're putting in the floor board; they're going through the punch list now, putting in the carpet. When you see carpet you know that's a positive sign and when you see the classrooms - the desk and chairs and office equipment that's a good sign," said Dickerson.

There are also a lot of upgrades, like an air conditioned gym, waiting for students. It's just a matter of when will the work be done.

"You want to say Thanksgiving, the holiday they can move in. But again, we're looking at all the different inspections that still have to take place."

Some of the workers tell us they've been told they will be working weekends now, to try and get the school finished so teachers can move in over the Thanksgiving break.

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