St. Helena’s Parish School continues to be rebuilt after Hurricane Ida

GREENSBURG – Three years ago, Hurricane Ida devastated Greensburg in St. Helena Parish. In addition to damaging homes, the wind and water also destroyed the gymnasium floor of St. Helena College and the Career Academy. In 2024, repairs to the school are finally underway.

St. Helena College and Career Academy has the only gym floor in the parish accredited by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. It is where many children in the parish learn to shoot hoops and practice drills prior to basketball season.

When Ida struck in 2021, the school team was preparing for basketball season. The school had replaced the roof of the gym before the storm, but water flowed under doors and walls.

After the hurricane passed, the school was without power for thirteen days and water seeped into the wooden gymnasium floor. Edward Galmon of St. Helena Parish Schools says as the water stood in the heat, the gymnasium floor gave way.

“We ran the units. We had fans. We had dehumidifiers,” Galmon said. “We worked very hard to get the floor ready so we could play basketball here at home again.”

The floor has been temporarily replaced in pieces. Galmon says the patch job led to discoloration and some pieces of wood didn’t match, but the team was still able to play.

“There’s nothing like having your own home and the feeling of a home court for the kids,” Galmon said.

He says completely rebuilding the floors is estimated to cost about $130,000.

Galmon says construction crews will begin their work next week. He says the cleanup and rebuilding should take six to eight weeks, just in time for the start of the school year.