Denham Springs Elementary School students, faculty back on campus 5 years after 2016 Flood

Local News

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (BRPROUD) — It’s been a long road back to recovery for one Livingston Parish elementary school.

A sense of home and belonging radiated throughout Denham Springs Elementary School as they were welcomed back to their new and improved campus. Many waited a long time for this day, to come after the flood of 2016 devastated the entire city.

“Being able to see these fifth graders and the fact that they finally get a building was so great,” said Denham Elementary teacher and parent Casie Richardson. “After the flood came, not only did I lose everything here, but I did lose my home as well.”

Her fifth-grade daughter was in kindergarten when they lost their school.

“She’s feeling the same emotions we all had, she cried, she’s excited, she’s nervous too. But actually being able to see her this morning here on a new campus was just amazing,” Richardson expressed.

“One of the students this morning, he said, ‘I need you to pinch me,’ and I’m like, ‘what?’ And he said, ‘I just need to make sure this is not a dream,'” said Principal Gail DeLee.

Many had to pick up the pieces and start over. However, there was still hope.

“Once you give them a structure and you provide them with love and guidance and that education and you let them know that you’re there for them, it doesn’t matter what building or what room they’re in, they’re going to grow and thrive wherever,” said Richardson.

They’ve taught in gyms and trailers before making it back to a brick and mortar for the first time.

“Our students came up with a motto the year after the flood where they said, ‘learners today, leaders tomorrow.’ Our students have had input through all of this process,” said DeLee.

Leaders said this new school will lead to new opportunities.

“So many new avenues. We have a STEM lab now, so I can’t wait to get in there with my students and create and just explore what their little minds can actually do,” said Richardson.

The new school is nearly double the size of the first facility.

“The Denham Springs area has grown tremendously, even after the flood. So we needed more space for more students,” DeLee explained.

Although these past five years have been challenging, students and faculty are excited to see what the future of Denham Springs Elementary School may hold.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest BRProud Articles

More Local News

Stay up to date with the latest news by downloading the BRProud App from the App Store or Google Play.

Trending Stories