New schools ready and opening for school year in Port Neches-Groves ISD

Published 12:20 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

GROVES — Groves Intermediate School Principal Mandie Champagne said the first day of the new school year is going to be exciting and surreal.

“We’ve had four years since the bond was passed,” Champagne said. “It’s really come together, the final pieces of the puzzle and the doors will open and it will be an ‘aha’ moment.”

In a few short weeks, primary and intermediate students in Port Neches-Groves Independent School District will head to brand new schools while those in higher grades return to their respective campuses.

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Champagne said teachers at Groves Intermediate are already getting their classrooms ready for the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

The school, she said, looks amazing.

The new Groves Intermediate, 5840 West Jefferson, is located at the former site of West Groves Early Learning Center that also housed the district’s board room and some administrative offices.

For Champagne, the idea of the doors opening, the bells ringing and all 600 students entering is exciting. Plus, this will be happening at three other newly built district schools the same day.

In 2019, voters in the district approved a $130 million bond issue consolidating seven existing schools into four new buildings.

The four include Groves Primary School, located where the former Groves Elementary was on Cleveland Avenue; Port Neches Primary School, located at the site of the former Ridgewood campus on Merriman Street; Groves Intermediate, and Port Neches Intermediate, located at the site of the former Woodcrest campus on Heisler Street.

Deputy Superintendent Julie Gauthier said school construction is complete at the intermediate campuses, with contractors going over a punch list. The primary schools are completing the final steps before teachers move in.

Bulldozers and workers were seen at the campuses on Wednesday, some of which were moving dirt.

Gauthier said the district is in Phase 2 of the construction, which is finalizing the parking lot, and driveway. That will be complete by October.

She said there was initially some confusion in the community in that some people thought the whole project would be complete by the first day of school.

Traffic flow information for the campuses is available at, and each campus has a Facebook page with information.

The district used two contractors for the construction: SEDALCO Construction Services for the primary schools and Cadence McShane Construction for the intermediate schools.