ABBEVILLE La. (KLFY) — Williams Scholar Academy in Vermilion Parish is in the early stages of building a permanent school.

However, some in the community are unhappy about temporary portable buildings being constructed in their backyards.

Corey Hawthorne has lived on Revelation Drive in Abbeville for more than 15 years and is sharing how he is very unhappy with the possibility of change.

“They were trying to move it from the location where it is currently sits onto the back of our property,” Hawthorne said.

“Our back yard slants down, so if they build that land up, it’s going to make a bowl between our back yard and that land.”

Over the years, he says, residents have had to keep up the land from being a hazard.

“The land has been going unattended for over 16 years, and we are the ones that have been trying to keep it up, now all of a sudden now yall just come and they’re killing the land, and we don’t know anything about what’s going on.”

The portable buildings are approximately four miles from where the permanent location for the academy will be on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Hawthorne questions if the move is temporary, and if so, what will happen afterwards?

“It’s only temporary, so when they leave, what will they come to do once they leave. If we look at the history, then the land is just going back to being unkept like it was before. I’m not 100% opposed to anything being done with the land that would increase our property value, but not at the expense or detriment of our property.”

After learning of their concerns, the executive director for Williams Scholar Academy released the following statement:

“We will never forget the hard work that went into the vision and building of this school. As we move forward, we embrace the motto that College is not an option – it is a part of the journey. While the school originally intended to relocate for the 2022-2023 school year off Hwy 338, a decision was made to remain at its current location for the time being. It is important that we listen to the community that we are a part of and take their feedback seriously. We appreciate the continued partnership with Lighthouse for Jesus Ministries in allowing us to lease the property,” Williams said.

She said the school still intends to relocate to a larger location in the near future while it awaits the final construction of the permanent facility on Martin Luther King Drive.

Williams Scholar Academy is scheduled to have a board meeting on the last Monday of the month.

Visit excelsiorcollegeprep.com. for more information. You can also text the school at 337-465-1637.