ABBEVILLE — From the devastation of Hurricane Rita in 2005 rose a new school in Vermilion Parish — LeBlanc Elementary.

On Thursday, the school board, administrators, faculty, students, family and friends were on hand to tour the $15 million facility.

“After the storm, people pulled together and this new school is the result,” Superintendent Randy Schexnayder said. “Students were on a temporary campus with temporary buildings that was cold and wet during the winter, and this is a blessing for the faculty and kids.”

School system Chief Financial Officer Phillip Sellers said funding for the facility came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a community development block grant.

Located on La. 338 between Erath and Abbeville, the school houses about 625 students, from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. LeBlanc Elementary has half the students from the old Dozier Elementary, which no longer exists, and also takes in students from Abbeville.

Assistant Principal Kimberly Etie said the faculty and staff love the new building.

“It has been fabulous,” she said. “We are under a covered roof and students tell me every day how much they love the new school. They take pride in it, help keep it clean and really enjoy the new playground.

“The teachers are also happy and have invested much in their classrooms to make this first year special.”