Students across Acadiana are gearing up for a new school year.
But at Westside Elementary School in Scott, the first day means their first day back on campus since the August 2016 flood destroyed everything and kept the doors shut for two years.
"We’re just happy to be back home," said the assistant principal, Charone Babineaux.
Today families were able to see the renovated school for the first time.
Teachers welcomed back the familiar faces with open arms.
For the past two years, students of Westside Elementary have been shuffling from one temporary location to another.
"It’s been a long process but we’re happy we’re here, we’ve been moving," said Babineaux.
"We still have a lot of work to do and that’s what we’ve been informing the parents of this morning. We still have a few things to tweak which were going to continue to do over the next few weeks until everything is in place," said the principal, Lisa Thomas.
And now, opening the doors again brings a sigh of relief.
"My gosh, my heart is so happy. It’s finally home should, I say, and I really hope that it’s permanent. Moving from school to school every year is a hassle, it really is. But looking at these classrooms they feel welcoming," said Jaycee Picquet, a 4th grade math and science teacher.
Parents and students are also ready and excited for the new beginning in a permanent home.
"It was kind of hectic because the first year they were split up between Scott Middle and NP Moss. Now it’s nice to have them all back in one school," said John Navarre, a parent of two Westside students.
His son, Jayden, who is going to third grade, said he’s most excited "that we don’t have to be at the other ones," referring to the other schools.
It’s a comforting welcome back, to see the big old smiles in the hallways again.
"You are so tall I can’t, you’re looking like a man," said Ms. Picquet to one of her former students passing by. "I’m almost as tall as you!" he replied as he measured up to her.
Westside Elementary is now ready to tackle their first day on Wednesday.
"I am so ready, I want my kids, I want all of them to be there the first day of school. I want them to be ready because I am ready. This is going to be an amazing year," said Picquet.
"It’s rewarding because when everything is done, the finished product is going to be great," said Thomas.