Live Oak Junior High opens with fully refurbished campus
WATSON - Seventh and eighth grade students in the Live Oak community of Livingston Parish will attend a new, but somewhat familiar, campus come their first day of school.
On Aug. 9, students will be welcomed to the new Live Oak Junior High on Old Highway 16, a site that served as the original Live Oak High School for many years. The campus went dormant more than two years ago when the new Live Oak High School campus opened, and all Live Oak students in grades 9-12 were transferred to the new site.
After a bit of a delay, brought on by the August 2016 flood, the district completed renovations to convert the campus into a junior high school.
“While we were forced to prioritize our efforts elsewhere, we never abandoned this project. We have worked diligently with the contractor to get back on schedule to refurbish this campus so we can bring much-needed relief to the overcrowding situation in our Live Oak schools,” Superintendent Rick Wentzel said.
Wentzel, Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy and Assistant Superintendent Stephen Parrill joined Principal Daniel Desselle, many of the school’s teachers and staff, and district warehouse workers Saturday to unload filing cabinets, desks and chairs from moving trucks and set them up in the various classrooms.
“It’s been a real team effort and a willingness of so many to do whatever has been needed to get the school ready," Wentzel added.
The opening of Live Oak Junior High will create some grade restructuring at the other campuses in the area. Live Oak students going into 5th grade this school year will join 6th grade students at Live Oak Middle School, while the three elementary campuses – Live Oak Elementary, North Live Oak Elementary and South Live Oak Elementary – will only house students in grades Pre-K to 4th grade.
The original Live Oak campus suffered no damage in last year's flood, so all improvements to the campus were part of the original plans. More noticeable improvements to the campus include a new brick façade and archways, wrought iron fencing and beautified common spaces. The school also has an expanded cafeteria and band room, new library, and updated classrooms.