Campus updates equipped to meet the needs of students, staff and area residents

LESLIE D. ROSE Weekly Citizen Editor
The newly constructed Galvez Middle School Admin. building.

When school starts on Aug. 10, Galvez Middle School students will be treated to a nice surprise – their football field is back!

With completed construction of a new administrative building and carpool waiting area, Galvez Middle School students will be able to once again have official home games – something they weren’t able to have at all last school year, said assistant principal Michelle Bourque.

“Our new football field is very exciting – our coaches are very excited about that,” Bourque said. “Last year we had to travel for all of our games so the athletes, the cheerleaders, the dancers – everybody is very excited to come back this year and be able to play on home field.

There is a new energy and new excitement about starting this school year.”

Bourque, who has been with the school since 1993, said it has always been a close-knit community whose demographics have remained pretty much the same since she’s been employed.

“The changes on our campus have also met the needs of the growing community because we have expanded and grown.”

Bourque continued that the coaches have been on the field everyday preparing for the upcoming season. She also said that on moving day all of the faculty joined in making the move into the new administrative building a smooth process.

“This is my 23rd year here and it truly is a family atmosphere – it really is,” Bourque said of the Galvez Middle School community.

School pride and spirit aside, there are other campus updates to ensure the surrounding community is also happy.

By creating a carpool waiting area, Galvez Middle School will no longer be the culprit of backed up traffic along La. 933, said principal Sandy Waguespack.

“One of the major problems we had was carpool in the morning,” Waguespack said. “As our population started growing, we made a makeshift carpool line, but the only way I could get parents off of the road still caused major traffic congestion at the four way stop, so we had a lot of frustrated community members.

The way it’s designed now, our buses come in and park and car riders come in a different aisle and there are different exit lanes. The first day that we used this new carpool system, it made a huge difference. Parents were able to get on campus right away. The system we had was effective, but the design wasn’t – now it is.”

Other highlights of the updated administrative building include a more than 30 circuit camera system that allows Bourque and Waguespack full coverage of the campus, as well the two have adjoining offices.

“We can pull all of the cameras on one screen – at our other office, we only had about ten cameras,” Waguespack said. “Once the cameras came up, we saw a lot of changes. As opposed to witness statements, we can use the footage to settle problems – it also helps with safety.”

Waguespack said the cameras show various angles of the front of campus, so she will always see who is on school grounds. Future plans include all school buildings to filter through the administrative building, as well as canopies connecting throughout.

There is also a sick room including a shower; a counseling group room; a new ISSP room; teacher’s lounge/work room; locked file storage with access only permitted to the guidance counselor; and a new guidance office.

“Where we came from, our office was so small – it was a hallway with classrooms in it. The space wasn’t conducive to our needs,” Waguespack said.

The campus also features an updated concession area for football games, which Waguespack referred to as the taj mahal of concession stands for middle schools.

The current enrollment is 611, but Bourque said she expects the official number to be about 630, once all who are awaiting entry have been admitted.