BASKIN, LA (09/04/19)– Though the Village of Baskin only has about 246 people, anyone who grew up there knows the importance of the old Baskin High School. For 93 year, Baskin High School has called Franklin Parish home. Now the storied building is saying goodbye to the community and students that once filled its halls. The school district has announced it will be torn down in coming days.
“It’s just a real sad situation, it really is,” said Roger Grayson, Baskin chief of police.
It was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981 because of it’s architecture and it’s regional and social history. Locals say it houses memories for families who grew up here.
“My dad went to school here, my mom went to school. I mean it’s just going to be hard,” said Lacey Stein, Secretary of Baskin School.
The school was added to a state wide most endangered list in 2004.
“It wasn’t just a school, it was kind of the center of the community. And that will soon be lost,” said Brian Davis, Executive Director of Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation.
The State Division of Historic Preservation donated 31 thousand dollars to repair the roof and made an agreement with the school board that the building couldn’t be torn down for 10 years.
“They got into fixing the roof, but then after that it just went down hill from there,” Said Stein.
Effort wasn’t put in to keep it nice
“It could have been a nice building if it was kept up,” said Stein.
On august 10, 2019, that 10 year agreement ended. With the school being in dire shape and being used on a regular basis for 15 years, it was decided to be torn down.
“It’s a beautiful building, it’s got a lot to offer, I wish that they would have caught it before it got to far gone,” said Grayson.
Locals wish they would have turned it into something else, even a museum.
“Tiny Tarbutton, she’s a legacy here. It would have been nice to have her trophies displayed,” said Stein.
Historical Preservation Officials tried to convince the superintendent to save it.
“I did speak with Dr. Lanny Johnson a couple times over the phone but he didn’t seem to be receptive to any type of alternative other than demolishing,” said Davis.
Once Baskin High School is demolished it will be taken off the National Register of Historic Buildings. Locals hope the school district will change their minds before the send in the wrecking ball.