Grand Caillou Elementary School will be rebuilt in same spot after plans threatened to relocate children
HOUMA, La. (WVUE) - The Terrebonne Parish School Board voted Tuesday (Dec. 6) to rebuild the Hurricane Ida-damaged Grand Caillou Elementary School on the same spot where it stood, ending months of tension between school officials, parents and community members.
The board and Superintendent Bubba Orgeron had considered plans ranging from rebuilding on the same site to demolishing the damaged school to keeping its nearly 400 displaced students at Elysian Fields Elementary in Houma, where they have been temporarily placed.
Parents argued that the community would suffer if the school or its students were permanently relocated. In emotional previous meetings, residents told the board such plans would strip even more away from their community, which had already lost so much to the storm, by further erasing the area’s identity and culture. They pleaded with school officials not to move their young children further from their homes during school days.
Orgeron originally warned that FEMA would not pay to elevate and rebuild the school in the flood-prone area. But FEMA has since reconsidered and agreed to reimburse for 90 percent of the rebuilding project.
Since then, Orgeron has presented multiple options. All but one included moving students or combining schools.
Tuesday night, the board voted 8-1 to keep the school at its original location. Clyde Hamner was the only board member to vote against the measure.
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