BASKIN, LA (01/29/20)– The Old Baskin High School is on the National Register of Historic places
and has been on Louisiana’s Most Endangered List since 2005. However, if plans are approved in May, it could be a building that has multiple purposes. The 95-year-old Baskin High School has been saved…at least for the next 4 months as the Franklin Parish School Board and the Louisiana Preservation Alliance entered a cooperative endeavor agreement on Monday, January 27th.
“Basically it will allow us, the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation, to come onto the site with contractors to take a closer look at what the building needs and investigate it more on the feasibility of using it again,” said Brian Davis, Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation.
However, this doesn’t allow the LPA to start construction or renovations. The plans and numbers have to be approved by the school board at the end of the agreement.
“We’re excited about this. This is what we were hoping for. I want to thank the school board for helping us and working with us on meeting in the middle on this agreement,” said Justin Lord, committee Chairman of old Baskin High School.
In addition, this extra time will allow the “Saving Old Baskin High School Committee” to raise funds and apply for grants. While the building’s future is presumably safe, it’s taken months to stop demolition and to get a foot in the right direction.
“We’ve been trying for the past 3 years to get in touch with the school board to let us have some more discussions. Then it all just came to the front burner at the end of the summer whenever a hole was dug. The school board had allocated 75 thousand dollars to demolish the school and push it into a hole,” said Davis.
For now, the LPA and locals say they will work hard to find everything the building needs in order for the school board to say the words they want to hear…”You can save the old Baskin High School”
“The building does not need to come down. It’s too good of a building to be that way,” said Davis.
The old Baskin High School committee says this building will be able to offer many different things to the village and the parish. Officials say the auditorium holds about 430 seats, enough to make it into a much-needed event center. The agreement runs from Jan. 28 through May 29.