CENTRAL, La. (BRPROUD) — Five years after the flood in 2016, Central Private School welcomed its students to the new campus.

The school located at 12650 Gurney Road kicked off celebrations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and campus tour on Saturday, Jan. 8.

Schools officials said the new campus’s current phase includes the high school wing, which will also house the middle school, and a new gymnasium. Students in grades 6-12 began attending classes in the new facilities on Monday, Jan. 10.

The 2016 flood damaged the school’s high school/middle school building, administration offices, cafeteria and lower elementary buildings, according to Central Private. Students and staff attended school at Zoar Baptist Church and First Baptist Central Church until FEMA funds were granted and six temporary buildings were bought.

“We were very blessed to have help from these churches and so many others,” said Robert Martin, Head of School at Central Private. “Having the support of the Central Private Board of Directors, CP families, community leaders, and local legislators has been instrumental in getting us to this point. Our Central Private parents, students, faculty members, staff members, and alumni spent countless hours cleaning and repairing the flood-damaged school while many were dealing with flooded homes themselves. Local community leaders have been in support of our new campus from the beginning. The local GOHSEP and FEMA staff were essential in helping us secure funding for the temporary buildings as well as funding for the new campus.”

“Our new campus would not have been possible without the help of U.S. Congressman Garret Graves, along with U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, who were vital in passing legislation that allowed us to move forward in our rebuilding process.,” said Mikelyn Sumner, Central Private Board President.

In May 2020, Congressman Garret Graves announced FEMA funds equaling $10 million to repair the school’s damage.

“We are very excited about the future of Central Private School,” Head of School Robert Martin said. “The CP family deserves the best, and we are working tirelessly to provide just that. Our new campus is amazing. Our future is very bright!”

The school is currently hosting a capital campaign to raise funds so all students can be relocated to the new campus.

For more information visit centralprivate.org.