VERNON PARISH -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday to mark the opening of the new Fort Polk elementary school, Parkway Elementary, at 3585 University Parkway in Leesville.

Years in the planning, the Parkway Elementary School project broke ground in August 2014 with $18 million from the U.S. Department of Defense, and $1 million each in matching funds from the Vernon Parish School Board and the state of Louisiana. The City of Leesville also provided a grant to install new water and sewer systems to service the school.

The school houses first through fourth grade students and replaces South Polk Elementary School. It has an 800-student capability with about 97 percent of the students military dependents.

(Photos by Elona Weston)

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