St. Charles Parish Public Schools are still recovering over a year after Hurricane Ida dealt a devastating blow to the parish.
While district leaders report that enrollment did not significantly change after the storm and that this school year all students are attending school on a regular schedule, all the school system’s buildings and facilities are still in need of repairs.
“As a community a year later, we reflect on the many obstacles we overcame, acts of kindness we witnessed, and the triumphant return that made us even stronger as a school system and community,” Superintendent Dr. Ken Oertling said. “We came together to make sure the needs our students, employees and community as a whole were met. Others from across the country made donations and volunteered to help get us back on our feet. And even though our recovery continues, we are united and stronger because of what we experienced.”
District Chief Plant Services and Security Officer John Rome, Jr. said due to the impacts of Hurricane Ida the district is currently in the construction phase of major bid restoration projects, with two more requiring design, bidding and construction. Some school renovations are taking place that allow the district to update and modernize school buildings.
The six major projects currently in the construction phase include restoration of Destrehan High School buildings A and B, restoration of Hahnville High School building D, restoration of the Professional Learning Center and roof replacement at Ethel Schoeffner Elementary and New Sarpy Elementary. Rome said all six projects are slated to be completed by late spring of 2023.
The two major projects requiring design, bidding and construction include roof and wall panel replacement at the Satellite Center and roof replacement at HHS’ building C. These projects are slated for design in the fall of 2022 with an approximate construction commencement in the summer of 2023, Rome said, adding that these two projects are anticipated to be completed by the summer or 2024.
“In addition to these eight major bid restoration projects, smaller scale, permanent hurricane damage restoration projects are in the pre-construction or construction phase at all sites,” he said.
Rome said these projects include, but are not limited to, roof repairs, window repairs, gutter/downspout/flashing/wall panel repairs/replacement, fence repairs/replacement, canopy repairs/replacement, drywall repairs/replacement and flooring repairs/replacement.
“All district sites have and will remain operational throughout the restoration/construction process,” he said. “Temporary repairs and safety measures have been put in place to provide a safe environment that is conducive to teaching and learning. The district anticipates all of these projects to be completed within a two-year period.”