Founded in 1931, Neville High School is one of Louisiana’s oldest schools–rich in history and art deco design.
With hundreds of students passing through its halls each year, the prospect of the building closing forever was frightening.
“The school is just so pretty, so when there was talk of tearing it down, we were all so devastated.”, says Kayleigh Keyes, Co-President of Neville’s Interact Club.
But the school’s deteriorating structure forced the Monroe City School Board to make a tough decision–seal the doors, or begin renovations fast.
Last summer, the school board voted unanimously to award Traxler Construction the bid to renovate the school.
Almost a year later, construction is underway.
Lead architect Doug Breckenridge says the first focus is improving the exterior.
Breckenridge says, “The first phase has to do with securing the envelope on the outside, and that’s the walls and the roofing. Once that’s secure and it’s made water-tight, then we come in and address the interior.”
He explains these updates will help preserve the history and architectural design of one of Monroe’s only standing art deco buildings.
“There’s really only two major pieces left in Northeast Louisiana, the other being…one being Neville High School and the other being the Francis Towers.”, explains Breckenridge.
And the students seem to be just as excited…thankful that the tradition and culture of the Neville Tigers will continue to be protected.
“I just love Neville, and I couldn’t imagine them tearing it down or anything because it’s just so beautiful, and there are so many great memories here.”, says Addie Musgrove, Co-President of Neville’s Interact Club.