"We are so grateful for this celebration," Alexander said at the ribbon cutting for Lake Elementary. "What better way to start a school year than to bring children back home, not just on their site, but in the buildings they are used to."

Ascension Public Schools' students and faculty had a reason to rejoice last week. Galvez Primary, Galvez Middle, and Lake Elementary schools' renovations are finally complete after damages from the Great Flood of 2016.

The Ascension Parish School Board moved rather quickly from school-to-school on Wednesday, August 1. It appeared that school and public leaders traveled via bus to make the announcement to parents, teachers and children of each school. They began at Galvez Middle.

Superintendent David Alexander said that to get the campus back on its feet was no small feat, since nearly 69,000 square feet were damaged. Repairs cost $2.6 million dollars.

"This school had two to three feet of water," Alexander said.

Principal of Galvez Middle Michelle Bourque was met with cheers and applause from those gathered in the cafeteria. Bourque could not mask her emotions when she spoke about the teachers.

"Words escape me to adequately express the dedication and diligence that they have exhibited over the past two years," she said. "They have set up classrooms over four times. When they returned to our temporary classrooms there wasn't room for each of them to have a classroom. They shared everything they had, including space. They met in closets. They adjusted to everything that I asked of them. The one thing that they never did was give up on our students."

Next, Galvez Primary School was visited. Alexander acknowledged Congressman Garret Graves and thanked him publicly for his leadership.

"We're ready for these buildings to start receiving the laughter, the smiles of children, and we're ready for learning to take place like its supposed to," Alexander said.

He introduced Principal Toni Hardy, who shared some inspirational words.

"You would never believe what sunshine [our students] bring to people who are beat up from a flood," Hardy said. "We're blessed seeing those babies smiling at us everyday. We never faltered, and we continue to strive for excellence."

Lastly, the ribbon was cut at Lake Elementary.

"We are so grateful for this celebration," Alexander said at the ribbon cutting for Lake Elementary. "What better way to start a school year than to bring children back home, not just on their site, but in the buildings they are used to."

Alexander said that 105,000 square feet had to be renovated at Lake, costing $4.1 million dollars.

"Faith, courage, and prayers helped keep hope alive," Alexander said. "It reminds us that together we can overcome challenges as a community."

"We learned that material things can be replaced," Lake Elementary Principal Jeremy Muse said. "And what matters most is the time spent with our families."

The Saint Amant High School Gold Dome was also reopened on August 2. On Tuesday, August 14 the new Bullion Primary School will hold a groundbreaking ceremony in Prairieville at 11:30 a.m. Local elected officials and the public are invited to attend.