Lafayette School Board Assesses Damage, Discusses Schools Re-Opening
Members of the Lafayette Parish School Board met Wednesday night to discuss if the district’s facilities and personnel are ready to return to the school year that had just barely begun before Acadiana was inundated with flood waters.
The Board established that all Lafayette Parish students will return to school on Monday (Aug. 22)
Superintendent Dr. Donald Aguillard is calling for all school staff to report to work on Friday in efforts to assess personnel needs.
He said, if necessary, he has the authority to postpone the opening of schools beyond Monday, if certain needs are not met.
Board Member Justin Centanni said opening the schools this Monday will help to bring a sense of normalcy to students throughout the parish.
At tonight’s special meeting, Director of Planning and Facilities Kyle Bordelon the district may have been lucky to have experienced minor damage throughout the parish with only one of 42 schools take on significant flood water.
The Board and district administrators are in the planning stage of what to do at that one school-Westside Elementary in Scott.
Bordelon said the school was flooded to about four feet of water with text books, furniture and even some school records being discarded following.
He said the entire floor of the school will have to be removed because of the water damage.
The school system has already taken initiative to have students of Westside Elementary attend two other school sites while repairs and improvements are made.
On Friday Aug. 19, there will be two meet-and-greet ceremonies held for students of Westside Elementary. Students in second grade through fifth grade will be hosted at N.P. Moss Preparatory School (801 Mudd Ave, Lafayette) at 9 a.m Friday. For kindergarteners and first graders, the same meeting will be held at Scott Middle School at 1 p.m. Friday.
Bordelon could give no time frame as to when Westside will be reopened because of the many options that have to be explored as to repairing the site.
Most other damage Bordelon mentioned included water-damaged ceiling tiles that were soaked from the sheer volume of rain that the area experienced.
The Lafayette High Auditorium experienced some water deposits but–like at other facilities– crews were already using dehumidifiers and fans to handle the water.
With the construction of Southside High underway, the building site was “high and dry” as Bordelon put it. Flooding at that site could have been a prognosticator of future floods that could damge the school in Youngsville.
On Thursday and Friday, the school district will open a registration center for students who are temporarily homeless or displaced. The registration center will be in the Large Conference Room at the Vermilion Conference Center (326 Gauthier Road, Lafayette) and will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.