Old Live Oak High being demolished to make room for new Junior High

WATSON, LA (WAFB) - One Livingston Parish school district has hopes to fix its problem with overcrowding. There are plans to add a new school to the Live Oak district, which will create a new school for seventh and eighth graders.

Demolition on the old Live Oak High started last week. Crews are tearing down sections of classroom space, to make room for a complete renovation. When the school reopens, it will be called Live Oak Junior High.

Fifth and sixth grade students will use the Live Oak Middle School.

One person excited about what's to come is Fred London. London did not attend school at the old high school campus because of segregation. But years later, he did coach and teach there, in the 80's.

"Those engineers, they brought that paper back and showed what it was going to look like ... It was, I couldn't believe it," London said through excited chuckles. He says he's excited to see what's to come, especially since he knows what it looked like years ago. "Pushed to the limits, holes in the wall."

Right now, the current middle school has more than 1,000 students, according to school board member Kellee Dickerson.

"People keep coming and we want to accommodate everybody," she said.

Once demolition at the old site is complete, Dickerson says, the front of the school will get a new look. The cafeteria will also be enlarged, classrooms will be redone and technology upgraded. Phase II of the project will add another classroom building with 16 new rooms.

But seeing the demolition isn't something everyone is fond of.

"You have to get ready for change," London said. "Some wanted to come and get a brick and all this good stuff."

One thing they are doing, is auctioning off the old lockers.

"Had people as far away as Oklahoma and Michigan calling, asking how can I bid? How can I get a piece of Live Oak history?" Dickerson said. She added, the money that is raised will go back into funding the construction at the school.

Something that will not change, the oak trees in front of the school.

Dickerson says they are also working with parish officials on a grant to expand the gym at the school. It would also be used as an emergency shelter for the parish.

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