School system still in recovery phase after Hurricane Ida

Harry Hurst Middle School was one of the district sites impacted by Hurricane Ida.

St. Charles Parish Public Schools is still recovering more than a year after Hurricane Ida dealt a devastating blow to the parish.

While district leaders report that enrollment has not changed significantly following the storm and that this school year all students are attending school on a regular schedule, all buildings and facilities in the school system still need of repairs.

“As a community, one year later, we reflect on the many obstacles we overcame, the acts of kindness we witnessed, and the triumphant return that made us even stronger as a school system and community,” said Superintendent Dr. Ken Oertling. “We came together to make sure the needs of our students, our employees and the community as a whole were met. Others from across the country donated and volunteered to help us get back on our feet. And even as our recovery continues, we are united and stronger because of what we have been through. »

John Rome, Jr., plant services and safety manager for the district, said that due to the impacts of Hurricane Ida, the district is currently in the construction phase of major supply restoration projects, with two others requiring design, tender and construction. Some school renovations are underway, allowing the district to update and modernize school buildings.

The six major projects currently under construction include the restoration of Buildings A and B at Destrehan High School, the restoration of Building D at Hahnville High School, the restoration of the Vocational Learning Center, and the replacement of the roof at Ethel Schoeffner and New Elementary Schools. Sarpy. Rome said all six projects are expected to be completed by late spring 2023.

The two major projects requiring design, tender and construction include the replacement of the roof and wall panels at the Satellite Center and the replacement of the roof of HHS Building C. These projects are expected to be designed in the fall of 2022 with an approximate start of construction in the summer of 2023, Rome said, adding that both of these projects are expected to be completed by summer or 2024.

“In addition to these eight major bid restoration projects, permanent smaller-scale hurricane damage restoration projects are in the pre-construction or construction phase at all sites,” he said. .

Rome said these projects include, but are not limited to, roof repairs, window repairs, gutter/downspouts/flashing/wall panel repairs/replacements, fence repairs/replacements, /replacements, drywall repairs/replacements and flooring repairs/replacements.

“All sites in the district are and will remain operational throughout the restoration/construction process,” he said. “Temporary repairs and security measures have been put in place to provide a safe environment conducive to teaching and learning. The district expects all of these projects to be completed within two years. »