BASKIN, LA (10/17/19)–Baskin locals have been fighting for demolition to be called off for months now on the old Baskin High School. Now, the school board has graciously given them a few months to prove what they can do.
The wrecking ball has been called off Old Baskin High School, well at least for the next 8 months.
“It’s kind of like you went to bed one night with the fear of demolition and wake up the next morning with a whole new leaf and that’s great,” said Justin Lord, Chairman of Restoring Baskin HS.
Demolition was 18 hours in when the Franklin Parish School Board decided to give the comity till May to raise money for the building.
“They need to save it, this is a good building for the community, I graduated in there. Its nice,” said Melissa Washington, Resident of Baskin.
That being said, they’ve begun fundraising, selling shirts, decals, planning concerts and more.
“From all the advice we’ve been getting and people we’ve had looking at the building, we are looking at anywhere from 1 to 3 million for a total restoration,” said Lord.
Officials are wanting to open the auditorium as a venue for events, this would resolve the problem many face now.
“Right now we are having to leave the parish, go to another parish, just for gatherings for our special events,” said Angie Pierce, Treasurer of Restoring Baskin HS.
For the classrooms, they hope it can offer education programs that are not available now in their village.
“Further adult education programs for single parents or trade type programs for welding or shop, carpentry classes, home, economics, things that we kind of gone away from in the past,” said Lord.
“We need the extra room, the extra class rooms, the space will be a good learning environment for the kids, maybe we can get some more teachers,” said Washington.
Those who are against the plan say there could be structural problems, it’s an eyesore, or that it will cost too much money. However, the committee says the building has no structural problems, a face lift will take care of the age, and the school board was going to pour 75 thousand dollars into tearing it down…so why not spend a little more to save it.
The auditorium will seat 479 people once the renovation is complete.
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