WALKER, LA (AP) - Livingston Parish school officials and community leaders broke ground on a new state-of-the-art facility for Walker High School.
The groundbreaking ceremony to launch the construction of a major expansion and improvement plan was held on the site of the new main building at Walker High Monday morning. This main building will face Florida Boulevard, creating a new front entrance to the campus.
The new construction is part of a $25 million capital improvement plan approved by voters in the Walker School District in 2014.
"Walker has the highest growth in the Parish of Livingston so to accommodate the growth, we needed to build these buildings to accommodate our students," said Walker High principal Jason St. Pierre.
The expansion includes a new two-story facility, that will be 80,000 sq. ft. It will house over 30 classrooms, administrative offices, a library, and a teacher workroom.
There will also be a new cafeteria with both indoor and outdoor seating for 600 to 800 students and a new air-conditioned gym with seating for 2,000 people.
Officials also added that there will be a new 16,000 sq. ft. vocational-technical education building for agriculture, carpentry, and welding classes as well as a new band room for nearly 200 students that will have rooms for practice and lesson as well as storage for instruments.
Evan Bergeron is going into his senior year at Walker High, and as a member of the band, he knows just how tight space in the current band room has been.
"This school is busting at the seams. We have 160 in the band and the band room is meant for 90 so we've got 80 guys in one tiny little room trying to change and get instruments and stuff," Bergeron.
Even though Bergeron will not be student by the time the building is done, he's looking forward to the additional band space that future students will inherit.
"It's just new beginnings and room for more growth to keep getting better and better," Bergeron said.
Construction is set to start August 5. The building should be complete in 2018.