WATSON - Construction has started in Livingston Parish to renovate the old Live Oak High School campus to create a new school in the Watson area.
The new Live Oak Junior High will take over the old, run down high school location in the Live Oak community. Contractors are working to gut out the school buildings to make way for new flooring, ceilings and other updated features.
"It's going to be awesome to see the difference they can do versus what it looked like when it was an older school with all the updates they can handle now and put in there," said parent Brenda Walker.
The new junior high will house seventh and eighth graders, while fifth graders make the move to Live Oak Middle School to join the sixth graders. The three elementary schools in the Live Oak district will only go up to fourth grade in a move to curb overcrowding, all while bringing the old high school campus back to life.
"This is a special site. These people live in this community. They grow up. They went to school here. Kids go to school here, so we're just thrilled to be able to preserve some of that tradition and some of those memories for all those people here," said Livingston Parish Schools Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy. "We're very appreciative of the support that this community gives us."
Murphy and other school leaders in the parish hope to have the new campus ready for next school year. If the new junior high is not ready in time for the 2016-17 school year, the school system says it will probably opt against moving students to new schools in the middle of a school year.