For the last two years, the old Herod High School has been locked in hopes of keeping trespassers off of the grounds. One group is now trying to save the old school building.
Group wants to try to save old Herod school
A group of Abbeville citizens hope to save the old James A Herod building built in the late 1950s.
At 6 o'clock tonight at the McKinely Scott Park in Abbeville, Cathy Walker and others will make a plea to save the historical school building located on Martin Luther King Drive.
The building, which is not occupied, has sat empty for the last couple of years. It has not been a public school in more than 20 years.
At the gathering tonight, a group of Abbeville citizens will explain their long-term plans to repair the old Herod school.
The police jury owns the building, but the school board had right of first refusal on what to do with the building before the police jury could do anything to the building.
At Monday night's school board meeting, the school board gave the police jury full authority to do whatever it wants with the Herold building.
If the police jury wants to sell it because it is a public building, bids have to be accepted, and the highest bidder is awarded the building.
"Our elected officials have no problem with Herod's uncertainty. So we as conscious-minded citizens must stand up. These boards don't represent the minority community. They see no intrinsic or redeeming value in Herod," said Walker. "Their decision to get rid of Herod does not consider the community's heritage. This is why we must ensure the legacy of our community by reviving the James A Herod building. Our community will open it up to businesses, community outreach, jobs and education."
Walker is hoping to convince the police jury not to sell the building to the highest bidder.
In 2014, Abbeville Pastor B.K. Stevens had plans to buy it from the police jury for an appraised value of $60,000. However, the Vermilion Parish School Board had to give the OK to the police jury to sell the building. The school board wanted to look into possibly doing something with the old Herod school. After waiting too long on the school board to say what it wanted to do with the former Herod High, Pastor Stephens decided to back off the deal and build a brand new building by his church.
For the last couple of years, the building has been sitting empty and is falling apart.
"We need a chance to nurture our youths, give them guidance, love, teach them respect, and provide jobs. This parish should grant us that much," said Walker. "I say throw us a bone every once in a while, please. Believe me, Herod is a bone, but like my mom of eight children said, we can do a lot with the bone."