EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - This time of year, the Glen Oaks High School gymnasium is usually filled with basketball players and fans, but not this season. Most of the school was heavily damaged by the August flooding.
Almost five months later, the high school hasn't reopened, and school officials say architects are still trying to figure out the time it will take to repair the school. For now, students are sharing the campus at Northdale Academy on Cletus Dr., about 20 minutes away.
Mae McGuffery lives across the street from Glen Oaks High. Her two daughters attended the school, and she really wants students to return because the school is such a big part of the neighborhood.
"That school is a staple in the community and a lot of our kids went there," McGuffery said. "There are other kids from the neighborhood that attend Glen Oaks High and they need to come back home."
EBR Parish Schools Superintendent Warren Drake says he understands the frustration of parents and teachers, but says the system is moving as fast as it can. "All of the clean up has been done, the rebuilding is in process right now, so there will be different dates when schools go back into session there,"
Eight other schools in the district are still closed due to flood damage. Four are expected to reopen for the Fall 2017 semester, while four others aren't expected to come back until Fall of 2018.
"There's just a process we have to go through and I don't want to say that the process is holding us up. Significant damages were done in these schools,"
Carnell Washington is president of the EBR Federation of Teachers, a union with around 2,000 members. He says affected teachers are frustrated by the situation and anxious to get back, but they're most concerned about the students that aren't at their local school.
"Kids have to travel all across town. It's a problem already engaging parents to come to your schools, and when you take that school outside of that community, now you're adding another layer of why that parent is not involved in their kid's life," Washington said.
Washington says he is working with members to get everyone's needs met. Drake says repairs will start at each school once architects are finished with their designs. Below is a complete list of the schools and their expected re-opening dates:
- Howell Park Elementary School: Fall 2017
- Park Forest Elementary School: Fall 2017
- Park Forest Middle School: Fall 2017
- Glen Oaks Park Elementary School: Fall 2017
- Brookstown Middle School: Fall 2018
- Greenbrier Elementary School: Fall 2018
- Lanier Elementary School: Fall 2018
- Prescott Site: Fall 2018
- Glen Oaks High School: TBD