TALLULAH (KTVE/KARD) — The old Tallulah High School is more than a century old.
But for the past near decade, it’s sat abandoned.
Every remodeling effort so far was defeated by lack of funding.
“We don’t even have a tax base to go in there and say: ‘Let’s paint it,'” Tallulah Mayor Paxton Branch said.
The latest effort in August 2014 to turn it into Louisiana Delta Community College’s newest Tallulah campus failed.
At a community meeting at the Hermione Museum Tuesday night, more ideas were pitched.
“If we can get the money to remodel Tallulah High School, make City Hall be part of Tallulah High School,” pitched Madison Parish Police Jury President Dalton Fortenberry.
“If you move City Hall from where it is and put it there, guess what the abandoned look’s going to be now? Right there where City Hall is,” Mayor Branch replied.
Branch unveiled a new proposal.
With an estimated cost between $8 million – $12 million, the high school’s first floor with its lockers, trophy cases and other artifacts will be preserved.
Every floor above that …
“The other floors will be like apartments, condos-type settings. That is the only thing that, right now, that you’re finding funding,” Mayor Branch said.
Branch said several developers are already interested. There are also talks of turning the old outdoor stadium into a new event venue for the city.
As far as money for the change goes, Branch said the city cultural district will be expanded.
For now, the district mostly comprises the downtown area, but the proposed expansion includes the old high school and beyond.
“It puts you in a tie-in with federal money,” Mayor Branch said.
While nothing has been signed yet, Mayor Branch is confident it will be a matter of weeks.
“Save Tallulah High, but to beautify this great city and if we can take care of both of those with one effort, I think we make it,” he said.
The City of Tallulah is submitting an application to the State Department of Culture and Tourism and officials said they should know by mid-March if the cultural district expansion is approved.