Bishop Accepts Board’s Decision To Move St. Louis High School
Regardless of the reason, residents of Lake Charles are going to find it hard to understand why the Diocese of Lake Charles is relocating the historic St. Louis Catholic High School. Clearly, relocating the school has been a longtime debate over the years. Many feel the Bank St. property limits the school's expansion for a stadium, baseball field, additional students, etc. However, the building of a new campus may provide for a bigger student body. Ironically, there are no plans to build a sports complex or stadium at the new location.
The community that surrounds the school, students, local businesses, alumni, teachers, and parents are speaking out about the move. They say families have built their lives around the historic school that opened in the 1800s and it should stay where it is. They say the school is the anchor of the neighborhood and downtown area. Nevertheless, a decision has been made to rebuild the school on property near the new Morganfield Subdivision in southeast Lake Charles, despite the fact it would cost far less to refurbish/improve/renovate the existing campus.
Bishop Glen John Provost offered a short statement on the fate of the school's move on the Diocese of Lake Charles website:
“The Board of Pastors recommends that Saint Louis Catholic High School be rebuilt contingent on funding. If requisite funding is not available, the Board of Pastors will not encumber their parishes financially. The Board of Pastors also recommends that Saint Louis Catholic High School relocates based upon the aforementioned conditions. The Bishop accepts both recommendations.”
This is a very sensitive matter for people on both sides of the school's relocation. There are many questions as to why repairs can't be made, given the fact that the school's tuition is so expensive. Does any portion of the tuition go toward upkeep or renovations of the school? Did the school not have insurance to repair the extensive hurricane damage? Is FEMA not an option to aid in the school's many repairs? The City of Lake Charles held a meeting to give both sides a platform to voice concerns Wednesday night. During the public event, local attorney Michael Veron said he doesn't feel it's anyone's business. Parents paying tuition and businesses in the community that support the school may have a different opinion than that.