Six-year-old Ruby Bridges was the first African American student to integrate the New Orleans public school system in 1960.
About 60 years later, Ruby Bridges Elementary, previously known as Elementary #21, is set to open in the fall of 2020. The new K-5 elementary school will be located on Maltby Road, close to Little Bear Creek Road. The school will serve approximately 500 students.
The primary school continues to be on schedule, according to a news release from Northshore School District. Ruby Bridges features 34 classrooms, a fully inclusive playground and a turf playfield.
Work for the accessible playground area continued during the month of January. Once the weather improves, concrete will be poured around the outdoor site. Irrigation for the project is ongoing, the news release said.
Various aspects are being completed inside the school. While ceiling grids and tiles are being placed, other parts of the building are getting final paint. The contractors are currently installing lights and wall trims, as well as completing the elevator shaft.
The news release said all equipment in the Large On-site Sewage System (LOSS) building has been installed and commissioning will begin in June.
Cathi Davis was selected to be the principal of the new school. She has most recently served as co-principal at Kokanee Elementary.
“The experience Cathi has gained during her principalship at Kokanee, as well as her knowledge of the community in the north end of the District, made her a great match for Elementary #21,” said Obadiah Dunham, regional assistant superintendent,. “I look forward to working alongside her as the vision for our newest school evolves.”
Northshore voters who approved the 2018 bond made the new school possible. Additional funds focus on expansion projects at both Skyview Middle School and Canyon Creek Elementary.
The flexible use building will add 30 classrooms to the combined campus. It is designed for elementary students on the second floor and middle school students on the first floor, according to the school district.
During winter break, the flooring was installed in Skyview’s health classrooms and cafeteria. New bathrooms were completed in the middle school and opened when students returned at the beginning of January.
The district is now focusing on permitting for Skyview’s health classrooms and finishing the Canyon Creek gym expansion, the news release said.
There will be a grand opening celebration for the new expansion building, and other updates, at Skyview and Canyon Creek on March 5. The event will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and student-led guided tours.