Cameron starts work to replace high school

Ground was broken last week on a new Johnson Bayou High School to replace the one shut down after damaged by hurricanes Rita and Ike.

Cameron Parish schools Superintendent Stephanie Rodrigue said construction of the $16.7 million, 58,000-square-foot school will take about 22 months.

“Johnson Bayou High School has a very long tradition of excellence in a number of areas so we’re very pleased to be able to have a perfect environment for that to continue and to grow,” Rodrigue said.

Bessette Development Corp. of Lake Charles is the general contractor.

The original school had been renovated in the early 2000s, but it was heavily damaged in 2005 when Hurricane Rita struck. The school was repaired, but in 2008 the storm surge from Hurricane Ike destroyed it.

The school district will spend about $1 million on the project with flood insurance and funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency covering the remaining costs.

About 70 students attend the school, which serves grades pre-kindergarten through 12.