JENNINGS, La (KLFY) The mayor and city council in Jennings could soon push for an ugly and dangerous eyesore to be demolished.
The old James Ward Elementary School has changed hands three times since 2017 and could be demolished if 50 percent of the repairs are not made by January 1, 2024.
Its been18 years since the school shut down in 2005.
Jennings Mayor Henry Guinn says the property has been a topic of discussion in recent council meetings.
He says he and members of the city council have been in contact with the property’s current owner on what will be done to the building if it remains abandoned.
He says the property would need to be repaired to satisfy the city’s code of ordinances.
“When we look at demolition, when we look at cleaning up blight and can it serve a purpose, and can financial capacity be met to see that purpose through?”
Lawrence Arceneaux, who lives nearby, says he thinks it should be demolished.
“I went to school here, my wife went to school here. We love James Ward but we don’t love what it does to us. People don’t know what takes place at night.”
Arceneaux says he considers the abandoned building a danger to him and his family because of possums, rats, snakes, and even people going inside the building and says it’s a threat to his family.
Resident Khrys’Shawn Levier says she doesn’t think the building should be torn down and says something useful could be done with it.
“As for them closing it, I don’t think they should demolish it. I mean I think they should rebuild so our kids could have something to do because our children running rampant, and they need something to do. I mean it is big enough.”
Guinn says he knows there are questions and concerns about the property and blight in the area but hopefully through conversations with the current owner a remedy can be found.
More discussions on the building’s future will be held at the next council meeting May 9.