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Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- A groundbreaking for a new 9th Ward school was a monumental day for both local and state officials who've been pushing for funding to rebuild and restore the Recovery School District.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Charter High School is a sign of progress in a community still struggling to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina nearly eight years ago.

'This one in particular is special because of the devastation, the extreme devastation we felt in the Lower 9th Ward community,' Patrick Dobard, superintendent of Recovery School District, said

For some in the Lower 9th Ward, it was an emotional day. Robert Green says both he and his children attended the Alfred Lawless High School before it was lost in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

'We have doctors, lawyers, teachers, principals coming out of this community and this is the place we first got our education,' Green said.

Now a new local charter school is going up in its place. It's all part of a $1.8 billion plan funded by a school construction program designated to rebuilding the city's public school.

'There was a point in time when there were no direct plans to rebuild schools in this area, and through the diligent work of the community, leaders and elected officials we saw a way to this day today,' Green said. 'This is history, this is important. But it also shows the commitment the RSD has.'

And the residents that call this community home now have a new focus. The students that will soon walk the halls of this school.

'We need this and we are glad to see it come back and we will be here to support it and make sure that it thrives and grows,' Green said.

Officials say the $41 million project will be completed by the fall of 2015.

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