A Loureaville man is putting the old and vacant Loureaville Elementary School to good use.
He’s taking everyone back to ‘the old school’ by transforming it into an entertainment and event venue.
The school is considered a piece of home for many residents. John Anthony, a former student, decided to keep the memories alive by renovating it into a place everyone can still enjoy.
Anthony was very involved with music and theater growing up. He took his talents across the country, performing Broadway and singing in a music group. In 2016, he was ready to come back to his roots.
“I was actually looking for a place to retire. when I say retire, I mean retire from the stage. You know, from singing. Instead of going to someone that has a stage, I rather bring the people to me. So, basically it’s my retirement,” said Anthony.
That is when he began turning the vacant school into a paradise for entertainment.
With a three-man crew, five phases were developed. Phase one is; the Courtyard, the Banquet Hall, the Living Room and the Johnny Lounge.
“A lot of the rooms are going to be dedicated to the teachers that actually taught me in that classroom,” said Anthony. “One room that stands out from everybody else is the Johnny Lounge,” he added.
The men working on the renovations said they love working on this creative project that will soon attract more people to the area.
“Because you hate to see a building like this go to waste,” said Ronald Oubre with Big RJ’s Handyman.
“I like the place. I like the ideas. Everything is good. A small community needs places like this,” said Rocky Rivers, also with Big RJs Handyman.
The name of the center, “At the Old School,” comes from former students, faculty and staff reflecting on their experiences there. The expected completion date for Phase One is January 2019. A grand opening celebration will take place for the community.